Posted On: Monday, 27 June 2011
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Basseterre, St. Kitts-Health officials in the twin-island Caribbean nation of St. Kitts & Nevis are said to be very worried about the dramatic increase in Cervical Cancer, over a five year period.In response, the Federal Government is now urging comprehensive action from various sources, to stem the dangerous trend that is emerging and the potential danger to both women and men in the country.
It was reported, at a Health Forum in St. Kitts, on Sunday 26th June, 2011, by the Prime Minister of the country, Denzil Douglas, who is a medical doctor by profession and also the lead spokesman on health in CARICOM, that while only one case of cervical cancer was recorded in 2005, five years after, in 2010, some 7 were identified.
Dr. Douglas told participants at the forum that this new development, demands that government makes a dramatic switch in its approach.
He said that government has been trying to do its part, by offering free testing at health clinics around the island and by ensuring that all of these health centers have been outfitted with the right equipment to detect abnormalities of the cervix.
Dr. Douglas said “It was not enough for the Government and medical practitioners to be focusing on testing for cervical cancer and vaccines to halt the spread of the human papilloma virus – even though this we shall most certainly do, but the rest of society must also actively demonstrate its concern and vision by identifying, exposing, and ‘calling out’ those social and so-called cultural practices that may, indeed, be contributing to some of the very serious medical challenges that we now face.”
“The public must now step forward and take advantage of these crucial, life-saving services since abnormalities of the cervix, caught early, can be halted before they become cancer. And I must stress that women are not the only victims of the human papilloma virus, so men, too, need to go to the internet to see that cervical cancer is not always caused by sexual indiscretion. But sexual indiscretion certainly increases the chances of human papilloma infection and/or cervical cancer,” said Dr. Douglas.
He also urged doctors in the country to do their part in educating their patients.
“You must ensure that persons of reproductive age, male or female, who walk into doctors’ offices be shown body-part photographs of a healthy normal person, on the one hand, and then body-part photographs of persons in the final stages of cervical cancer and human papilloma infection on the other. One will be able to see the stark difference of one who is healthy and one who has been diagnosed and showing the effects of this cancer and the virus upon the human body,” said the Prime Minister.
Sunday’s Women’s Forum on “Prevention and Treatment of Cervical Cancer” was organized by the Prime Minister’s Office, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Baptist Health South Florida, USA.
The event is reported to have attracted hundreds of women from throughout the island of St. Kitts.