Roche Thailand set sights on creating a future of equality for all women

Igniting inspiration through the “Lifting Women's Voices to Inspire Inclusion” panel discussion

Bangkok, Thailand – In honour of International Women's Day in March, Roche Thailand celebrates inclusion and addresses inequality by hosting a panel discussion under the topic: “Lifting Women's Voices to Inspire Inclusion”. The discussion aims to promote self-love and well-being among women, featuring esteemed speakers Dr. Ratree J-Orh, Obstetrician-Gynecologist, Head of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Group, President of Cancer Warrior - Cervical Cancer Pattani Province, Pattani Hospital, who emphasises the importance of knowledge and understanding in screening and treatment for Muslim women and Dr. Tanchanok Ratanajarusiri, Medical Oncologist  National Cancer Institute, shares insights on breast cancer screening, inspires Thai women to prioritise self-care and improve health awareness.

Today, women’s health disparities persist, with healthcare systems predominantly referencing male-centric data. Only 5% share of assets in the current healthcare pipeline focused on female conditions and up to 74% of clinical trials do not report outcomes by gender. According to 2024 women's health survey, women face numerous challenges due to religious, cultural, and societal factors, resulting in insufficient prioritisation of their health. Over 61% of women's diseases are undervalued in the healthcare systems, while a significant 71% of men overlook the importance of women’s health conditions. Additionally, critical diseases such as breast and cervical cancers suffer from low awareness rates, with over half of women lacking understanding of the necessity for regular screenings. Various obstacles, including familial burdens, discomfort in medical consultations, and religious beliefs, hinder early detection efforts for women’s health concerns.

Farid Bidgoli, General Manager of Roche Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos stated “Roche places great importance on women's health. There are still challenges in access to screening and treatment for diseases, especially the two leading cancers in women; breast cancer and cervical cancer. Since 2020, Roche Thailand has collaborated with various partners from both in the public and private sectors, to create networks and pilot projects for the public to bring about transformative changes in Thailand's health care system for women. The project is called Mission Leapfrog, a part of XProject, a long-term commitment and an ongoing initiative to drive meaningful change through partnerships and action to close the gaps in women's health. Mission Leapfrog focuses on the challenges faced by marginalised groups, specifically Muslim women in Pattani Province. Through innovative approaches like at-home cervical cancer screening kits, the project offers alternative options  for women to access healthcare equally. ”

Dr. Ratree J-Orh, a leading physician and advocate in the Mission Leapfrog initiative, emphasised the importance of self-care and health awareness during a cervical cancer screening event for women in Pattani province. She addressed women worldwide, stating, “Women, regardless of their location, possess an innate protective instinct for themselves and their children. We are the pillars of emotional support within our families. Self-love and health care are paramount. Religion should not hinder us from undergoing screenings for diseases. Serious diseases like breast and cervical cancers are prevalent among women and should not be ignored. We should prioritise our bodies, uphold everyone’s right to bodily autonomy, and embrace regular screenings for sustained health and well-being.”

Dr. Tanchanok Ratanajarusiri added, “Breast and cervical cancers are the most prevalent cancers among women. Breast cancer ranks first, with the second-highest mortality rate after lung cancer. However, if detected early and treated properly, breast cancer has a high chance of being cured. Women under 40 should perform breast self-exams at least once a month, and after the age of 40, annual screenings are recommended. This includes mammograms and/or ultrasounds once or twice a year.”

“Roche not only helps women access to screening and treatment for various diseases worldwide, but also advocates for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) within our company. We continue to support women in Thailand in understanding and raising awareness of cancer continuously because breast and cervical cancers not only affect the patients’ lives but also have ripple effects on their families and loved ones. Therefore, we are committed to promoting equity and working to enhance the quality of life, along with the improved physical and mental health of all Thai women.” Farid Bidgoli emphasised.

Roche Thailand is committed to promoting and supporting Thai women, encouraging them to embrace self-care, raise awareness of gender equality, and collectively create positive impacts. Together, let’s continue to inspire others to join the fight against cancer

1. McKinsey, 2022
2. Geller et al., 2018
3. Roche Diagnostics APAC, 2024
4. สถาบันมะเร็งแห่งชาติ
5. Roche Diagnostics APAC, 2024

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