Ministry of Health launches three-year project to improve cancer care

The Ministry of Health, through the Directorate of Women's Health, has launched a three-year project to improve cancer care in Trinidad and Tobago.

This initiative was launched with the North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) in partnership with PSI Caribbean, RICE University, Houston, Texas and the MD Anderson Cancer Center, USA. As part of this three-year initiative, a training programme, designed to improve the management of patients with abnormal pap smears, was facilitated by the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) at the state of the art Colposcopy Centre, Mt Hope Women's Hospital.

Thirty (30) health professionals, from the Regional Health Authorities and the private health sector, commenced training in the latest cancer management techniques, including colposcopy (microscopic examination of the cervix), using models and high technology equipment. It is the first time that the new Colposcopy Centre was used for colposcopy training of healthcare workers.

Over the next three years, the project will address several critical areas in the fight against cervical cancer including the introduction of HPV Cervical Screening for women throughout the public health sector. This training promises to revolutionise traditional methods of screening currently in use, while simultaneously reducing patient waiting time and medical resources.

The initiative also promises to significantly improve the management of patients with abnormal pap smears, resulting in minimal intervention for those requiring treatment. This training will also increase the early detection rates of cervical cancer, thereby reducing the risk of patents developing full blown cancer and potentially save the lives of countless mothers, daughters, sisters and aunts.

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