OCTOBER was breast cancer awareness month and in St. Lucia there was a sustained campaign to help those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education and other support services.
One of the leading agencies in the campaign was the Bureau of Health Education and Promotion in the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
Mrs Natasha Lloyd-Felix, Director of the Bureau of Health Education says her department along with other members of staff from the Ministry of Health thought it necessary to make a donation to one of the leading agencies in the fight against breast cancer and related causes.
She said: “The Cancer Society has been around for decades in St. Lucia and has done tremendous work over the years in terms of education of our population and even prevention of cancer through its clinical support interventions. And so today we handed over our collection to the St. Lucia Cancer Society through Dr. Bristol and we know the organisation will put it to good use. We have worked with them over the years and we know the efforts that they put in and we know there are also resource constraints for them. So I am sure that the contribution will in some way be significant to their programme.”
And although, the gender disparity amongst the officers of the St. Lucia Fire Service is very wide, the cause was a very noble one and together they gave their support towards this venture. Firewoman 542 Stacey Joseph made the presentation and is hoping this can be an annual event.
She said: “We got little pink ribbons and we made them into the symbol for breast cancer and we had people donate money towards the cause. We gave them a little ribbon as a token and it did well in the office. We didn’t have much time to enact the drive but we did well and we’re just here today to hand that over to Dr.David Bristol. We’re hoping that this little step can go as far as it can in helping cancer research in St. Lucia.”
In accepting the two cash donations, the Chairperson of the St. Lucia Cancer Society, Dr. David Bristol thanked the two government agencies for their support and noted the increasing number of younger women who are afflicted with Breast Cancer in St. Lucia and the wider Caribbean. However, he remains optimistic that with a willingness to combine available resources and working together, the challenges can be overcome quite easily.
“It’s encouraging that over the last year, that we have had, due to collaboration with the Ministry and the Hospitals, a movement to get a cancer registry set up. And I think, even the basic numbers and the different types of cancers and where those people are from in terms of locations in St. Lucia will help us to probably understand what the disease is and probably to prevent it and to treat it better and manage it overall.”