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Photo Credit: Nick Giuliani
Because of its partnerships with Somali communities in Minnesota, WellShare is uniquely qualified to help Somali women understand the risks of breast cancer and become proactive in reducing breast cancer risk. The Somali Women’s Breast Cancer Project reduces breast cancer disparities among women by conducting culturally appropriate breast health education via home visits and small group presentations. The project reduces disparities by raising awareness and motivating women to seek screening and schedule mammograms. Since its inception, the program has reached more than 700 Somali women.
For Somali women to have the same chance of surviving breast and cervical cancer as women in Minnesota in general, educational programs must address Somali women’s low awareness of breast cancer, their fear of diagnosis and of mortality, and language barriers. WellShare community health workers are trained to educate the Somali community about breast health and to conduct outreach for Somali women on prevention of breast cancer. Our community health workers have a unique bond with women of the Somali community—sharing the same language, culture and religion, and similar experiences of living in the United States. These connections help women of the Somali community trust the information we bring to them.