HCC Announces 3rd Grant for the Caribbean Civil Society Cervical Cancer Prevention Initiative (C4PI)
With the support of the Australian High Commission (TT) Direct Aid Program (DAP), the HCC is entering the third year of the Caribbean Civil Society Cervical Cancer Prevention Initiative (C4PI). The multi country initiative strengthens civil society capacity in the area of cervical cancer prevention and control in most vulnerable communities. This year’s subgrant recipients are the Belize Cancer Society (BCS), the Cancer Institute of Guyana (CIG), and Groupe de Support Contre le Cancer (GSCC) in Haiti.
The HCC is extremely pleased with impact of the C4PI since 2014 during which time over 2700 marginalised women have been educated and screened for cervical cancer by CSOs.
Partnerships with key stakeholders including local Ministries of Health and other CSOs have been strengthened resulting in expanded programmes with greater coverage, less duplication and maximum impact.
The projects have been presented both nationally, regionally and globally as examples of CSO/public/private partnerships to prevent and control cervical cancer in low and middle income countries.
Groupe de Support Contre le Cancer
This year we are pleased to be working with the Australian Direct Aid Program (DAP) again. The C4PI will be expanding into Haiti where we are partnering with GSCC (whom we first met back in 2013 at our regional cervical cancer advocacy training workshop) and Equal Health International (EHI). The project in Haiti aims to educate and screen 1,500 low income women living in rural communities. This will be achieved through training of 40 health care professionals who will conduct cervical cancer community sensitisation sessions. In partnership with local Ministry of Health and EHI, GSCC will be screening women using the HPV-DNA test.
Executive Director Gerty Surena commented:
“The Groupe de Support Contre le Cancer is very thankful to AUS/DAP for giving us the opportunity to receive this grant through HCC’s relation. This amount will help a great deal in our cervical cancer prevention program. We will be able to enlarge our already established one. As you know, mortality rate is increased with lack of knowledge of the disease, specially for women in the rural and vulnerable communities. Certainly a lot of women with low income or disadvantaged will benefit from this donation in trainings, prevention, awareness and early detection. The trained nurses and assistants will work under the close supervision of Dr. Vincent Degennaro of EHI. He will co-lead this important project. GSCC will be always grateful to the donors and is very happy to belong to such a great caribbean Coalition such as HCC.”
Cancer Institute of Guyana (CIG)
The CIG was a grantee in 2014 during the first phase of the C4PI when they screened women in the hard to reach interior communities and produced a video documentary of their journey with the project (See the documentary video here). This year, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, CIG will continue to make cervical cancer education and screening available to indigenous and low income women in rural Guyanese communities. Ms. Fiona Legall, General Manager of CIG, thanked the Australian Government Direct Aid Program and the HCC, on behalf of the Cancer Institute of Guyana, ‘We would like to specially thank the AUS/DAP through the collaborative efforts of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition, whose hard work, dedication and commitment in strengthening Caribbean civil society’s around cervical cancer prevention initiative programs has made it possible for us to achieve our second grant in order to continue
to provide cervical cancer awareness and screening programs to other specific rural areas such as Regions 1, 7, 8 & 9 (Mabaruma, Bartica, Madhia and Lethem) respectively.’
Dr. Syed Ghazi, Director of Medical Outreach commented: “This grant will help us to educate, empower and improve screening attitudes among Guyanese women (and men) in rural communities. Mr George Nellamattathil, Chief Executive Officer remarked on the importance of the project in the targeted regions, stating that it will: ‘…improve cervical cancer screening and treatment coverage among under privileged men and women in Guyana”
Belize Cancer Society (BCS)
The BCS under the guidance of the HCC, and in collaboration with local counterparts successfully implemented “end cervical cancer initiatives” in 2014 and 2015. As a result, cervical cancer has gained the national attention of key stakeholders who are now partnering with the BCS to provide comprehensive prevention and control services to women, with particular attention to indigenous women and other women in rural communities in Belize. The BCS is a key partner in educating faith based organizations, teachers and parents on the HPV vaccine which has been added to the national vaccine schedule. Commencing in October 2016, HPV vaccines will be administered free of cost by the Ministry of Health to over 4,000 girls (ages 9-12) annually. With support from the HCC, the BCS continues to play a key role in educating the community on non-communicable diseases and actions that can be taken to modify risk factors related to physical activity, healthy diets, and weight reduction.
The new grant for the 2016-2017 Cervical Cancer Prevention Initiative (C4PI), will build the capacity of nurses to manage the prevention and control of cervical cancer. Focus will be placed on education and empowerment of men and women in key communities, which will include HPV vaccine sensitization. Importantly, the grant will support initiatives to “screen and treat” and improve uptake of PAP tests of women in rural communities.
On behalf of the Belizean Community, we extend sincere gratitude to the Healthy Caribbean Coalition for having confidence in the Belize Cancer Society. We also thank the HCC for supporting our vision of having affordable, accessible, effective and efficient services to prevent and reduce sickness and death from cervical cancer in Belize.