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18/08/2017 - 07:00hs

Brazilian physicians on healthcare campaign in Lebanon

The Moça Bonita (Pretty Lady) project brought doctors from Brazil to work with Lebanese colleagues on the prevention of cancer in women. The joint actions focused on three cities.

São Paulo – A group of Brazilian physicians joined healthcare professionals from Lebanon for a cancer care and prevention campaign with women from the Arab country. Organized by project Moça Bonita (Pretty Lady), headed by Brazilian radiotherapist Aref Muhieddine, and with the support of Lebanese medical organizations, the action took place early this month in the cities of Harissa, Khiara and Bint Jbeil. Near one thousand women got treatment by the initiative.

Press Release

Mouth care was done during the services

Moça Bonita is a project created to integrate Brazilian and Lebanese doctors in providing care to young women with cancer. The goal is to prevent, treat and follow up on the cases. Muhieddine explains that despite the fact that the incidence of cancer in this population group is lower, the disease tends to be more aggressive, with more risks involved. “The breast cancer is more aggressive in a 30-year-old woman than in a 60-year-old woman. The lymphoma is more prevalent in young people,” he says.

Four Brazilian doctors spent a week in Lebanon working on this: Muhieddine himself, the head and neck surgeon Roberto Elias Miguel, the plastic surgeon Romeu Fadul, the dentist and mouth doctor Luís Marcelo Seneda, plus lawyer Aieda Muhieddine, who provided information on the healthcare area. Four Lebanese physicians also participated, among them Bechara Athie. The Lebanese Radiotherapy Society and the Lebanese Plastic Surgery Society were the partners for the action in Lebanon.

Despite the fact that the initiative focused on young women, especially Brazilians living in Lebanon, the campaign grew bigger than expected and attracted women from various groups. In addition to Lebanese of various ages, the refugees that live in Lebanon, among them Syrians, Iraqis and Sudanese, were provided healthcare by the initiative. The lectures were attended by one thousand women. Some of them had doctor appointments and took ultrasound, mammography and cervical smear tests.

Muhieddine says that testing was available in cities where partnerships with hospitals were in place. Elsewhere, the women got orders to take the tests later, and are getting tested this week. The results will be received by Moça Bonita electronically and will be oriented to seek treatment if needed. The physician says that a lady seen in Khiara, who had cancer and needed breast reconstruction, will get the implant from the Moça Bonita project and under care of Lebanese physician Ghasan Said.

Press Release

One thousand women attended the lecture by the project

The radiotherapist Muhieddine tells that his dream is to open specialized centres for young women with cancer in world-class hospitals in Brazil and elsewhere in the world, such as Lebanon, Africa, Europe and even the United States. “The idea is not to lose these women and these families to a curable disease,” he says.

The project also includes training to physicians on how to treat these patients. In studying these cases, Muhieddine realized a lot of their unique requirements, such as the importance of continuing with physical activity after the cancer diagnosis, family support, plus other behavioral and specific issues. Mammography, for instance, is recommended for women over 35 years old, but younger women need other exams. Those who have implants, according to the doctor, need MRI scans.

Seventy percent of the costs of the healthcare campaign in Lebanon were covered by the blog Na Segunda Lú Começa (Lú Starts on Monday), by Brazilian journalist Lú Braga. The other 30% were covered by the city of Harissa and by Lebanese entrepreneurs. Her blog also helped organize the campaign’s activities.

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani

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