Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: The North Central Regional Health Authority, in collaboration with the Spouses of CARICOM Leaders Action Network (SCLAN), hosted the first instalment of The Great Pap Smear “Rural” Initiative and SPA Day on July 5, 2023 (Wednesday) at the Blanchisseuse Community Centre.
As per the latest update by NCRHA, approximately eighty-two (82) women accessed specialist medical consultations, cervical screenings and self-care services in the convenience of their community.
The NCRHA’s renowned ‘Great Pap Smear Initiative’ was another proactive move by the Authority to reduce the high incidence of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Trinidad and Tobago, specifically among women. It seeks to provide cervical screenings and specialist medical consultations to working women who are unable to attend weekly clinics.
The Great Pap Smear ‘Rural’ Initiative is an extension of the existing Campaign, which aims to take healthcare services beyond the hospital walls and into the communities. The concept was launched at the last instalment of the Great Pap Smear Campaign in December 2022, after joint discussions with Sharon Rowley, Wife of Prime Minister and Executive Body – Spouses of CARICOM Leaders Action Network (SCLAN).
Rowley, Patron of the Caribbean Association of Oncology and Hematology and advocate for women’s and children’s health in the Caribbean, was accompanied by members of the SCLAN Executive Body – Eloise Gonsalves, Wife of the Prime Minister of St Vincent and Mellisa Santokhi-Seenacheery, First Lady of Suriname.
“The NCRHA notes that the support and presence of Honourable Minister of Planning and Development, MP for Arima, Pennelope Beckles-Robinson; the distinguished spouses of Caribbean leaders and certainly the wife of the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago in the seaside village of Blanchisseuse provides enormous encouragement for women, empowering them to engage in proactive and preventative actions towards improving their health, wellness and overall quality of life. We are very grateful for their support in the fight against cervical cancer,” says NCRHA CEO Davlin Thomas.
“We have strategically implemented a number of disruptive innovations to combat the high incidence of non-communicable diseases in Trinidad and Tobago, and the Great Pap Smear “Rural” Initiative is yet another. Preventative, accessible healthcare is a top priority for us at the North Central Regional Health Authority,” the NCRHA CEO further stated.
He also paid special commendations to the team of nursing professionals, medical professionals and auxiliary staff who was a part of the Great Pap Smear “Rural” Initiative for being a force for good health. Successes like these would not be possible without a dedicated team of caring and determined professionals who resonate with our mission – to provide quality, safe and cost-effective health services to the communities we serve.