Colorectal cancer screening in Lebanon
May 30, 2022
Colorectal cancer screening in Lebanon

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is highly prevalent in Lebanon and individuals are often diagnosed at at an advanced stage due to lack of awareness and poor screening uptake.

SAID NGO (decree 324/February 2016), named after the founder’s husband who died of colorectal cancer at the age of 59, was established to prevent others from going through the same pain. SAID NGO is the only NGO in Lebanon dedicated to spreading awareness and providing free screening for CRC. Its vision is to ensure that everyone in Lebanon eligible for CRC screening is up to date with their tests.

Our work focuses on three different areas:

  • Awareness & Detection to increase awareness of CRC and CRC screening
  • Advocacy to motivate doctors, general practitioners and healthcare providers to provide advice to patients about the necessity of early screening from age 45 onwards
  • Support to ensure access to high-quality screening tests and interventions when needed. We value empathy and care without discrimination.

Since its inception, the impact of SAID NGO has been tangible at different levels. We advocated with the Ministry of Public Health to issue the Lebanese Guidelines for CRC screening (2018) and launch the National Campaign for the Awareness and Early Detection of CRC (2019). We held more than 400 awareness lectures and campaigns before the COVID-19 lockdown, followed by virtual campaigns during the lockdown and a number of hybrid campaigns in 2022. We also have provided 4 000+ faecal immunochemical (FIT) screening tests and covered the fees of 102 colonoscopies. In addition, we have conducted research resulting in the publication of 4 publications so far.

SAID NGO is internationally associated with the following organisations:

  • Digestive Cancers of Europe (DICE)
  • Global Colorectal Cancer Association (GCCA)
  • Inspire2Live (I2L)

Hana NimerGladys N. Honein-Abouhaider
Patient Advocates Inspire2Live