Jan 14, 2012 News
Although the recent launch of the cervical cancer vaccination campaign has been receiving some flax, there are some who have been praising the ambitious move, which is said to be one of the most costly the Health Ministry has ever embarked on.
Offering kudos to the Ministry of Health yesterday was Acting Dean at the Croal Street, Georgetown, Greenheart Medical University, Dr. Reza Chowdhury.
Dr. Chowdhury, and Indian national, assumed the position at the University just last year.
“We are completely supportive of the Ministry of Health and its campaign because they have developed a well thought out plan for prevention and we are in total support of it.”
He explained that since cancer is usually seen as a very challenging health problem which has proven to be very difficult to manage.
“We are still learning about this disease and we are still developing…and as everybody knows prevention is always better than cure.” Alluding to negative information published online, the doctor pointed to the fact that not all medical information published online has been completely validated. It is for this reason, he said, that the Government is usually tasked with appointing professionals who are mandated to ensure that proper health care is delivered to the nation. He further explained that in the area of medicine, efforts are always made to weigh the risks and the benefits associated with any drugs intended to be used in the health sector. “If the benefits outweigh the risks…the approach that is usually taken is that we go in that direction…every single case is an individual case and we look at the risks and benefits.”
In light of the fact that the public may not be very well educated on cancer and the various treatments, Dr Chowdhury revealed that the Greenheart Medical University is prepared to work with the Ministry of Health to educate the nation. He noted that at the moment the University has a team of capable professionals who could facilitate outreach programmes to raise awareness on health concerns that are found to be challenging. This service he said could be afforded to business entities, schools and even groups of individuals at absolutely no cost. And the information provided, he said, can be extended to other health issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure. The latter issue, he said, has been found to be extremely prevalent with many people being unaware that they are suffering from its effects.
Earlier this week the Ministry of Health with support from the Pan American Health Organisation, launched its vaccination campaign, using a vaccine called Gardasil, to prevent the potential impact cervical cancer can have on the female population. The primary target has been identified as girls between the ages of 11 and 13. The age range was chosen as it has become evident that young females are becoming involved in sexual relations as early as 13 years old, the Minister said. In this regard, he pointed to the fact that the Ministry does not premise its efforts on treatment alone but on prevention as well, a mode which, he said, is very evident in other areas such as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). He made reference to the Ministry’s Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) programme, which has seen the Ministry seeking to ensure that women who are infected with HIV being provided with an antiretroviral regime at an early stage of their pregnancy that serves to ensure that their babies are not affected.
“If we didn’t do this 99 per cent of our babies born to infected mothers would be infected so we will not limit our success to HIV when we know that we can do more,” the Minister asserted. It is for this reason, he said, that the Ministry is keen on addressing the potential impact of cervical cancer which is set to be piloted in four Regions including Regions Three, Four, Five and Six before the programme is expanded. Over a six-month period some 20,000 doses will be administered in three doses at both health centers and primary schools in the identified Regions, Dr Ramsaran said.
However, Thursday saw a modest gathering of picketers taking to the Brickdam lawn of the Ministry in order to raise their concerns about the disease. Their action was premised on the need for the public to be fully educated on both the pros and cons of the vaccine being used to guard against cervical cancer and the need for persons to make an informed choice rather than be subjected to an imposed decision.
Jagdeo will make ayo sell ayo bodies to feed ya’ll pickney.
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