What we do

Mission

Karen Leung Foundation’s mission is to save lives by reducing the impact of gynecological cancer in Hong Kong.

Vision

We envision a world where women have every opportunity to live healthy, fulfilling lives free from gynecological cancer.

Karen Leung Foundation makes an impact by raising awareness about gynecological cancers, educating the local community to promote prevention and early detection, and ensuring that women in treatment have access to optimal care. To achieve our objectives, KLF will collaborate with the local and international medical community, as well as other NGO’s committed to improving women’s health. The Foundation was founded in June 2013 to honor Karen’s wish to save lives in Hong Kong by reducing the impact of gynecological cancer. After conducting an in-depth community assessment, we’re working to address the unmet needs of the Hong Kong community. In 2014, we launched our initial programs and services aimed at increasing awareness of gynecological cancer, promoting prevention of cervical cancer and supporting women in treatment.

Awareness

Public Education: Information is Power

Karen Leung Foundation believes that information is power and that the more women know about gynecological cancer, the more they can do to take an active role in their own health and the health of their daughters, mothers, sisters and friends. We aim to empower women all over Hong Kong with educational talks. These talks will help women to:

-Understand how to protect and maintain your gynecological health

-Learn the risk factors for gynecological cancer

-Recognize the signs and symptoms of gynecological cancer to detect it earlier

-Prevent cervical cancer

-Develop an individual health strategy and take an active role in your health care

If your company or community group is interested in one of our talks, please find more information by clicking here.

Prevention

HPV Vaccination Program: Preventing Cervical Cancer

The HPV vaccine is a public health innovation that will be a “game changer” for this generation of young women. The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) causes 99.7% of cervical cancer diagnoses and the vaccine can prevent thousands of girls from ever having to experience this awful disease.

There are currently two vaccines available that can prevent women from contracting the HPV strains most likely to cause cervical cancer. If given before exposure to these strains, the vaccine is highly effective and has been proven to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer by over 75%.

The HPV vaccine was introduced into Hong Kong several years ago, and has an extremely low uptake, with less than 10% of age-appropriate girls vaccinated as compared to over 70% in Australia. The reasons for the low uptake are complex but two large barriers are cost and low levels of awareness. Cost is an enormous barrier as the vaccine runs up to HK$2,500 – $3,800 for the three-dose series. The average Hong Kong woman’s monthly income is about HK$10,000, making the vaccine unaffordable. Many other countries, such as the UK and Australia, have publicly funded vaccination programs to ensure that the vaccine is affordable and accessible to all. In these countries the government has also funded awareness and educational campaigns to encourage the uptake of the vaccine.

KLF aims to educate Hong Kong women and girls about the need for the vaccine, assist them in accessing it, and galvanize support for a public program. Specifically, we are developing a program to increase the uptake of the HPV vaccine by partnering with schools, physicians, and community-based organizations to reach age-appropriate girls and young women.

Support

“Karen Leung Foundation Bed” at the Haven of Hope Holistic Care Centre

Haven of Hope LogoThe Foundation is partnering with the Haven of Hope Sister Annie Skau Holistic Care Centre to address the need for increase access to high quality palliative care in Hong Kong.

The “Karen Leung Foundation Bed” will be available to patients with late stage gynecological cancer who demonstrate financial need. This partnership will ensure that these patients will have comfort and dignity during their final days, surrounded by loved ones. The Sister Annie Skau Holistic Care Centre offers a multi-disciplinary health-care team led by specialist palliative care physicians and nurses providing 24-hour medical and nursing care for patients. Patients receive timely, effective and quality medical care and symptom control. The caring team respects patient’s treatment choices and works closely together with the family members to tailor a holistic care plan.

Palliative care  or “comfort care” is needed when aggressive treatment to cure a patient’s cancer is no longer working. It focuses on helping patients find relief from the pain and discomfort associated with cancer as well as emotional and spiritual support for both the patient and family. Studies show that quality palliative care allows patients to live comfortably for a longer period of time with less invasive treatments and less admissions to intensive care units during the last 6 months of life. Palliative care can offer more controlled symptoms during the last 2-4 weeks of life, and a significantly higher likelihood of remaining conscious and aware until the last 2-3 days of life, which gives patients more meaningful time with their loved ones.