PM Drew announces week-long cancer awareness activities in St Kitts & Nevis

The Prime minister and Health Minister, Terrance Drew addressed the nation on Sunday as February 4 is known for World Cancer Day. He introduced week-long cancer awareness activities in the country, St Kitts and Nevis to sensitize the public to the various types of cancers affecting the residents.

Week long cancer awareness activities in St Kitts and Nevis, credits to SKNIS Facebook Page
Week long cancer awareness activities in St Kitts and Nevis, credits to SKNIS Facebook Page

St Kitts and Nevis: The Prime Minister and Health Minister, Terrance Drew, addressed the nation on Sunday as February 4 is known for World Cancer Day. He introduced week-long cancer awareness activities in the country, St Kitts and Nevis, to sensitize the public to the various types of cancers affecting the residents.

He announced two activities, a panel discussion on Colon Cancer and a cancer awareness event under the name “Hope Village Expo.” These will be held on February 5 and 9, 2024 respectively. The panel discussion will be broadcast on ZIZ’s Health Wise, and the event will be held at Independence Square from 9 am to 4 pm.

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The speech he delivered was under the theme, “Close the Care Gap.” This aimed at making people aware about the disease which is taking thousands of lives, and is harming the community. He even highlighted that the Ministry of Health is making great efforts to close the care gap.

Connecting to it, the Ministry is focusing on providing care at the earliest possible stage so it can offer ensured health outcomes. Also, the focus on increasing access to screening and early detection of cancers would play a major role in this.

This year, the country has a national campaign as well under the theme, “Fight Cancer Before it Begins” which clearly reveals that it stands with the value of prevention and early detection. And the activities announced are not aimed at celebrating life and fostering community support.

Moreover, he presented some of the facts to state how necessary awareness is to be generated. He added that in St Kitts and Nevis, 377 new cases of cancer were diagnosed between 2018 and 2022. Additionally, he mentioned that several of the cancer types, such as breast, prostate, colon, skin endometrial and cervical are most commonly affecting the people.

Considerably, 19.5% of deaths were caused by cancer between 2017 and 2021, and many of the cases were detected when the disease was already at an advanced stage, that is, II & Stage III. 

As no problem comes without a solution, here are some of the habits inculcated in daily routines that can help reduce risk factors. These may include the proper intake of fruits and vegetables and less use of alcohol and tobacco.

Importantly, the Ministry of Health is also offering the HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccine to children up to grade six to prevent cervical cancer