Joining the battle
The fight against cervical cancer has received a boost from regional insurance company Sagicor Life Inc.
Collaborating with their partner the Healthy Caribbean Coalition, Sagicor will be encouraging its staff and customers across the region to sign an e-petition, to lobby heads of government to increase Caribbean women’s access to affordable cervical cancer screening. The insurance company has launched an internal campaign to sensitise Staff to the cause and direct them to the user-friendly electronic petition.
The e-petition was conceptualised by regional cancer organisations in response to alarming research which shows that most cases of cervical cancer can be prevented through greater access to screening and treatment services. Since the launch in June, regional cancer organisations have received the full support of high profile women, including Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller and Kim Simplis Barrow, wife of Belizean Prime Minister, Special Envoy for Women and Children and a cancer survivor herself.
Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Barbados Operations of Sagicor Life, Edward Clarke, lauded the HCC for its work.
“This cervical cancer e-petition is one we are proud to support. If there is a way we can significantly reduce the number of women affected across the region, then we all as Caribbean people should participate. Sagicor Life Inc has been a part of the regional landscape for over 170 years and we’re committed to the well-being of those in the communities in which we operate.”
Professor Trevor Hassell, President of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition, Special Envoy for NCDs and Chairman of the NCD Commission of Barbados explained: “Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths among Caribbean women, each year approximately 31,700 women in Latin America and the Caribbean die as a result of the disease. Sadly, more than 95 per cent of cases of cervical cancer can be prevented through increased screening and effective prevention and control measures, including Pap tests, human papillomavirus testing, vaccination against HPV and the use of visual inspection with acetic acid.
The Healthy Caribbean Coalition and regional cancer organisations expressed thanks to Sagicor Life and its staff for their support of the e-petition, the first ever of its kind in the region. We hope that other corporate entities will be inspired by their response and help us meet our target of 500,000 signatures.”
Interested persons may sign the e-petition by visiting www.endcervicalcancernow.org