Juliana Campaigns for Women’s Health Check with Balai Sakinah ‘Aisyiyah in West Kalimantan31 December 2016
Mothers play a crucial role in families. A healthy mother leads to a healthy family. Juliana is one example of a mother who understands the importance of staying healthy and encourages women in her village to stay healthy.
Juliana (30) is a mother of 3, living in Sejegi Village in East Mempawah Sub-District of Mempawah District, West Kalimantan. She is one out of more than 1000 women in Sejegi who are members of Balai Sakinah ‘Aisyiyah (BSA, ‘Aisyiyah’s women’s group). A group which encourages women to actively take care of their own health, especially reproductive health.
Juliana sees that a lack of knowledge has been one of the underlying factors for women in not taking preventive actions to stay healthy. This is her reason in joining BSA, aside from the opportunity to make new friends. She joined after she learned that Balai Sakinah ‘Aisyiyah (BSA) was a program of ‘Aisyiyah— Muhammadiyah’s women’s wing of the organisation—which aimed to deliver information to women on women’s reproductive health, such as family planning, breast and cervical cancer, and breastfeeding.
Juliana has learned a lot through BSA. “One of the most important lesson I’ve learned is that women should be aware of their reproductive health status as early as possible,” she stated.
“Previously, I thought we could just cure an illness when we get sick. When it’s time, we’d die anyway,” Juliana said. She didn’t feel the urgency of taking prevention actions particularly the ones related to women’s reproductive system, such as VIA test for cervical cancer early detection.
However, her thinking has changed through educational sessions at BSA. Juliana is now aware of the importance of keeping her reproductive system healthy. She knows that doing an early detection test of cervical cancer could ensure women to have enough time to seek for a proper treatment should they have cancer. As a woman, Juliana realises that her likelihood to get cancer in the future is considerably high, not to mention the genetic factor of which she has two cousins died of cervical cancer. Therefore, Juliana finally took the VIA test not long ago.
“I can clearly remember how my heart thumped when I was taking the clinical breast exam (CBE) and VIA test,” she claimed. She felt even more burdensome as her husband objected to the decision she made. “’What good is that VIA test? Forget it, you’re not sick so what good is that VIA test for you’,” Juliana reenacted her husband’s response.
However, with a strong determination and prayers, she took the test on her will. “I hope you won’t get angry, the only person who know me is myself, I’m sorry,” she reminisced talking back to her husband, that what she about to do was for the greater good of the family.
After she completed the test and received the result, she thanked God right away and felt relieved for the result was negative. She told her husband about the good news. “My husband smiled at me as I told him about the negative result,” she said enthusiastically.
Juliana thinks that the activities held by BSA have turned herself and her life in a positive way. She is so inspired that she constantly supports the program and spreads the good words on its benefits, always pushing information about the coming cervical and breast cancer screening to her village. “After I get myself tested, I encouraged women in my village to participate in ‘Aisyiyah’s health educational group and to have courage to take the VIA test for its incredible benefit.”
Reported by: Sri Eliyati (Kader BSA Sejegi)