With the aim to raise awareness on colorectal cancer, its preventive measures and screening programme offered in Brunei, a community project titled Brunei Colorectal Cancer Awareness and Risk Education for Screening (Bru-CARES) was organised by seven third-year medical students from Pengiran Anak Puteri Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah Institute of Health Sciences, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD).
The project, carried out by Bru-CARES group involving members Alya Syahirah binti Haji Md Ali, Amirah binti Haji Ghazali, Kong Cheng Peh @ Sabrina binti Kong, Mohammad Khilfi bin Abu Bakar, Noor Ainah Gulzar Ahmad, Nurizzqah binti Bungsu and Syazana binti Suhaili, is in collaboration with the Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Prevention Unit, Ministry of Health (MoH) and Pantai Jerudong Specialist Centre (PJSC).
Bru-CARES aimed to raise awareness and educate the public on the signs and symptoms of pre-cancerous colorectal polyps, available screening methods and treatments for different stages of cancer. The group also encouraged proactive screening of colorectal cancer.
Throughout August and early September, the Bru-CARES team organised various activities at seven venues throughout Brunei-Muara, Tutong and Belait districts to reach a wide of range audiences.
Activities held including exhibition booths, small talks, a seminar and a game challenge called Play4CARES to educate participants in various ways.
The exhibition booths consisted of games such as kahoot quizzes, shoutout4cares (family feud style game) and a crossword puzzle all based on strengthening knowledge with regards to all aspects of colorectal cancer while also enjoying games prepared by the team.
During the exhibitions, screening registration forms were given out to interested participants.
The project was kick started with an exhibition booth at PJSC on August 12, receiving recognition from Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar and the minister’s spouse and Head of the Early Detection and Cancer Prevention Unit at PJSC Datin Dr Hajah Noraslinah binti Haji Ramlee.
It also received recognition from PJSC Executive Director Dr Haji Mazrul Adimin bin Haji Awang Besar and Brunei Cancer Centre Director Dato Seri Laila Jasa Dr Babu Sukumaran.
This was followed by an exhibition at The Mall, BandarKuCeria, Pusat Kegiatan Warga Emas, Tutong, and UBD in August. Talks were also held at Politeknik Lumut and Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) on August 18 and September 3.
Alongside the exhibition booth on August 31, a seminar and a Play4CARES Challenge were also held at the Institute of Health Sciences the same day.
The seminar featured expert panellists from IHS, UBD, JPMC, PJSC, and NCD Prevention Unit, MoH further discussing colorectal cancer and address questions from the participants.