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KUALA LUMPUR, March 2 — Insurance and takaful services giant Etiqa launched the fourth phase of its Free Mammogram Programme today together with the National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM).
Etiqa said the programme provides free breast cancer screenings for 6,000 underprivileged women aged 40 and above.
It added that it fourth phase is a follow-up to three earlier phases that cost RM 6.53 million and had benefited 17,000 underprivileged women across peninsular Malaysia.
Etiqa said the programme was part of its corporate social responsibility to support the government’s health campaign and remains important even during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The fear of contracting Covid-19 may have motivated people to stay home and self-isolate, causing them to choose to defer their screening.
“Getting one screened for breast cancer is just as important as getting one screened for Covid-19. Therefore, wherever possible, Etiqa will help to transport the women to the available facilities for screening,” it said in a statement.
“With Covid-19 being the focus right now in healthcare institutions, cancer screening has taken a backseat. Therefore, this is a timely reminder for women to focus on their health, and to take the opportunity to get themselves screened.
“Transportation will be provided, screenings are free, and the results will be shared soon after. Therefore, these women can now easily get screened even with movement restrictions in place,” said Datuk R. Karunakaran, chairman of Maybank Ageas Holdings Berhad (MAHB), the parent company of Etiqa.
Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, NCSM’s principal patron, said that the pandemic has caused hospitals to move its focus to Covid-19, preventing women access to cancer screenings.
“Therefore, this free mammogram programme helps to empower and enable women at risk to be screened early, in low-risk settings, without congesting already overcrowded government facilities.
“We are proud and honoured that Etiqa, our partner, is committed as an entity to continue caring for Malaysians, especially during these current times that are most difficult,” she said in a statement.
The Etiqa group of companies include Etiqa General Insurance Berhad, Etiqa Life Insurance Berhad, Etiqa General Takaful Berhad, and Etiqa Family Takaful Berhad.