Chairman of the Westmoreland-based MistyBlue Cancer Care Foundation, Dorothy Satchwell, has called for the establishment of more cancer-related charities in Jamaica, in order to increase awareness and assist people affected by the disease.
She said that charitable organisations play an important role in the fight against cancer and supporting patients and their families as they face the challenges and fears after receiving a diagnosis.
She was speaking at a recent Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank at the agency’s Regional Office in Montego Bay, St. James.
Ms. Satchwell, who is a breast cancer survivor, noted that it was a charity in England hat assisted her during her treatment journey, and the experience is part of the reason she decided to establish an organisation to ensure that the needs of people living with cancer in Westmoreland are met.
“I remember when I was doing my radiotherapy in England [the centre] was 25 miles away and I had a charitable organisation transport me for my radiotherapy Mondays to Fridays, and they did that for the entire time and that never cost me a penny. That was voluntary work and the challenge that we have is to get people to have that mindset here,” she said.
Ms. Satchwell pointed out that no one country, regardless of gross domestic product (GDP) can single-handedly make progress against cancer, noting that strong partnerships are needed to enable governments to improve on the services provided to patients.
“I went to the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital and I had a chat with the Chief Executive Officer in terms of cancer, and one of the things that came up was that the hospital could do very well with the use of a computed tomography (CT) scanner.
“That would be fantastic for cancer patients, but it also helps for other things, so as an organisation, for five years we have had a banquet where we are trying to buy a CT scanner for the hospital,” she told JIS News.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018.
The MistyBlue Cancer Care Foundation will spearhead several teleconferences to highlight statistics and trends relating to cancers in Westmoreland.
These will be carried on various social media platforms during the second Wednesday of each month from August to December, between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
The events will be streamed on Zoom, the MistyBlue Cancer Care Foundation’s YouTube and Facebook pages as well as JIS’s YouTube and Facebook pages.
The registration link for the Zoom meeting is https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0oc-ChpjMjH9eV9MSKsmBiuhS-U2h48I_o.