Knowledge Is Power
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
June 17, 2011 (SKNIS)
Mothers of St. Kitts and Nevis are being encouraged to come and bring their daughters to the Women’s Forum which takes place Sunday, June 26, starting at 4:00 p.m., at the Ballroom of the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.
The theme of the Forum is “Prevention of Cervical Cancer and HPV Infection” which is applicable to all females of reproductive age in the Federation. Dr. Hazel Williams-Roberts, Director of Community Health Services, told the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service that the Ministry of Health was concerned by recent screenings.
“We have noted that there’s an increase in incidents that we’re seeing in cervical cancer,” Dr. Williams-Roberts explained. “This is despite the fact that the coverage has not increased so it is genuinely an increase in the number of cases and not because we have been screening more persons. In 2005 we had one case, whereas in 2010 there were 17 cases. So in fact, it was more common than breast cancer which traditionally was thought to be the most common cancer among females.”
Dr. Roberts also revealed that guest presenter Dr. Troy Gatcliffe, a gynecological and reproductive cancers specialist, will address risk factors for cervical cancer, concentrating on its relationship with HPV infection; how to prevent it in terms of pap smear screening; and new preventative approaches including two vaccines. Dr. Gatcliffe who is affiliated with Baptist Health International, Miami in the U.S. will also entertain questions and comments following his presentation.
Dr. Roberts elaborated that cervical cancer can affect any female who becomes sexually active.
There are various types of HPV virus and she noted that the Forum will focus on the virus that affects the genitals. Considering that the virus can be transmitted by both males and females, men are invited to attend the forum to find out how HPV can affect them.
Similarly, the Director of Community Health Services addressed mothers.
“I want to make a special appeal to the women of the Federation, especially, for them to bring their daughters,” Dr. Roberts emphasized. “Even if they haven’t become sexually active as yet, because this is an important issue, one that concerns all of us. And you need to come out and get this information so that you can access the services and decrease the incidents of cervical cancer in our Federation.”
The Women’s Forum takes place Sunday, June 26 at 4:00 p.m., in the Ballroom of the St. Kitts Marriott.