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First Lady sponsors mammograms for 222 women

Acknowledging that early detection can reduce the risk of breast cancer, the Office of the First Lady through a partnership with Dr Balwant Singh Hospital will be providing free mammograms for 222 women, who cannot afford the service.

First Lady, Arya Ali handed over the vouchers to the founder of the Guyana Cancer Foundation, Bibi Hassan at a dinner hosted at State House on Tuesday evening for cancer patients, survivors, healthcare workers and other partners leading the fight against breast cancer.

“These will be made available through the Guyana Cancer Foundation and the Guyana Cancer Society. So, I hope this affords women who want to get screened but cannot afford it to do so. And I hope this serves as an encouragement to other women, including some of us right here today, to get our mammograms,” the First Lady explained.

She also urged attendees to encourage their families and relatives to get mammograms to reduce their risks.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony commended the First Lady for organising the event to raise awareness. Currently, the ministry is procuring three mammogram machines, that will aid in early detection.

The machines will be installed at various healthcare facilities across the country, as the administration continues to implement preventative steps to lower the incidence of cancer locally.

“With breast cancer, the government is working on doing several things including creating more access to mammograms and this month, we have a partnership with several private sector institutions including Balwant Singh Hospital, Mercy and the Cancer Institute and we have been giving out vouchers to make sure that women who want to do a mammogram can have that access to a mammogram,” Dr. Anthony stated.

Additionally, by next month, a telepathology programme will be launched at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). The ministry is working along with the Mount Sinai Health System to develop this programme locally.

The health minister also emphasised the need for women and men to get vaccinated to prevent cervical cancer, which is also one of the leading cancers among women in Guyana.

Pinktober 2023 is themed ‘Many Hands, Caring Hearts’.