Breast Care Center Jefimija was established on april 1st 2000 as a health care program at NGO Women’s Center Uzice. Since january 2013. BCC Jefimija is organization that works on it’s own.
It was founded by Slavica Simić, psychologist, and Maja Gulan, MD surgery specialist and oncology subspecialist.
Every woman lives in a state of emotional, physical and social welfare and prosperity – she is economically independent, has a chance for healthy life styles, spare time, and is not exploated.
When she gets sick, a system responds to her needs, supports her and empowers her, as well as her surroundings.
A society in which every woman is a treasure.
Social position and a quality of life improvement trough the achievement of women human rights, in all the aspects of social life.
• Increasing a level of awareness in community and women itself about their health rights, social position, and all of the conditions of achieving those rights
• Delivering experiential, psychosocial and informational support to patients, cured women and their family members during the process of rehabilitation
• Cooperation, initiation and taking part in the creation of optimal conditions to develop healthy life styles, prevention, protection and a treatment for women;
• Support for the ill and cured women to use their legal rights for protection, education and integration
• Making an impact on increasement of quality and quantity of services for achievement of women and persons with disabilities rights
• Cooperation, initiation and helping the authority organizations in our country and abroad, to make condition for improving and conducting prevention, rehabilitation and integration of patients and women with disabilities because of illness
• Cooperation with scientific, medical and health organisations, and also with others that deals with malignant and other diseases
• Cooperation with regional and international organizations and associations that deals with women’s rights and health, associations of patients and cured from malignant diseases and persons with disabilities
BCC Jefimija is also a member of Evropa Dona Srbija – Serbian Forum Against Breast Cancer, centered in Milan (Italy), that gethers 47 members from European countries in fight against breast cancer.
Geographic area of operation
BCC Jefimija activities directly covers the area of Zlatibor County (municipalities Užice, Požega, Arilje, Kosjerić, Bajina Bašta, Prijepolje, Priboj, Nova Varoš, Sjenica, Čajetina). Very often, we have beneficiaries from Višegrad (Republika Srpska), also from Moravica District (Ivanjica, Čačak, Lučani), Raška County (Novi Pazar), Bor County (Bor), Pirot County, Braničevo County (Požarevac) and from the other Serbian cities, that asks for help on the open phone line.
Many fellow citizens that live abroad, are getting help from us, using the electronic networks, in many parts of the world (Ohio, Moscow, Brussels…).
BCC Jefimija activities
Since 2000, we developed a program of activities that is connected to the needs of persons with breast cancer diagnoses, and adapted to the process of medical treatment phases.
All of BCC Jefimija services are completely free for all of our beneficiaries.
Our services are:
• Support and first hand information from women that underwent breast cancer healing process, trough the hospital conversations during the treatment, in self-help group meetings at BCC Jefimija office
• Health support and information from MD about your personal health condition and illness, but also a possibility to understand how different types of medical treatment and life styles can influence the fight against disease, during the health workshops
• Psychological support , by working on the facing the diagnose, panic and fear as the inevitable phenomenons during the treatment, how to treat the family when diagnosed and during the treatment, understanding the reasons why disease happened and how we can change our behavior to contribute to heal and beat the disease; those activities are realized within psychological workshops and individual psychotherapy
• Social support, the annual street action of flower selling Flower That Means a Life, Beneficiaries Help Fund Biljana Ristanović Bilja, a membership and different activities with The Equals, making an impact on improvement of disease treatment conditions generally (public, institutions, family)
• Increasing the level of rights to service availability by advocacy (with other organizations), partial or complete cover of costs of treatment for malignant disease/breast cancer; free travelling, free prothetic bras every year, state participation for wig costs, free compressive sleeve for hand lymphoedema patients, spa rehabilitation initiative, free implants for primary breast reconstruction after mastectomy
• Making direct impact to provide continuous availability of chemotherapy at Užice Health Center
• Initiative to provide a room to educate certain stuff for lymphoedema therapy at Užice County Hospital
• Establishing the regular trainings of new surgery breast cancer patients about lymphoedema prevention procedures, by Physiotherapists from County Hospital, at Surgery
• Initiative to establish a new procedure IHH (Immunehystochemical analysis), HER2 (analysis of steroid receptors and human epidermal growth factor) at Užice County Hospital
• Permanent participation at regional conferences and meetings that contribute the generally better understanding of situation, sharing experiences and finding a common solutions
• Creating BCC Jefimija net
• Taking part in creating A National Plan of Actions to Improve Women’s Health with Ministry of Health (RS)
• Gender approach implementation at primary and secondary health care institutions Training in 2006/7, with 236 medical workers from Zlatibor County
• 40 students and newly graduated MD from Faculty of Medicine, Belgrade, took part at two days training for developing sensitivity for work with women with breast cancer, conducted by BCC Jefimija team, and women with breast cancer experience
• Activities in creating a national association (NALOR) that includes all female patients small associations that fight breast cancer
• Initiative and activities to establish National Day of Fight Against Breast Cancer
• Establishing Evropa Dona Srbija – Serbian Forum against breast cancer
• Annual street flower selling called “Flower That Means Life” that raise a level of public consciousness about the importance of prevention and also gain money for BCC Jefimija activities and help for beneficiaries
• Annual participation in Pink October and Give a Pedal to Cancer manifestations
• Regular participation in Healthy Breast Day activities
In the very beginning of our work, breast cancer was a taboo, “invisible” disease, and also “a shame”. The consequences were late phase diagnoses and high mortality.
Nowdays, breast cancer is a topic with very few prejudices, citizens know that it’s possible to fight and win, and BCC Jefimija is a place where you can get support of every kind.
Since 2000, in Zlatibor County, there is a tendency of decrease of mortality among breast cancer patients. According to official data (2015) the standardized mortality rate is the lowest in Serbia. There is 8% lower mortality in Zlatibor County comparing to Central Serbia.
Every year, by many different activities of BCC Jefimija, we work with 250 – 300 regular beneficiaries and over 500 other users (family members, medical workers, other citizens, visitors of different lectures and meetigs).
BCC Jefimija services were used by more than 1750 women with breast cancer and more than 100 family members from Serbia and other nearby countries.
During the period 2000-2008, within different NGO programms, about 500 beneficiaries underwent free clinical checks, and 106 of them was registered with tissue changes, 39 malignant.
Our lectures, public discussions also broadcasted on TV, found a way to tens of thousands people.
Breast Care Center Jefimija, Nikola Pašić St. 38b, 31000 Užice