Georgetown, Guyana – (August 17, 2017) First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger, today, met with Chief Operations Officer of the Guyana Medical Relief, Mr. Sharir Chan and President of the Guyana Cancer Foundation, Ms. Bibi Hassan, during which they discussed the possibilities of collaborating to provide access to cervical cancer screenings for women and girls in interior locations. The meeting was held in the Office of the First Lady at State House.
Mr. Chan said that he requested the meeting with the First Lady as his organisation is very impressed with the work that she has done to advance programmes that cater to women and children’s health. He also said that his organisation is partnering with the Guyana Cancer Foundation on a project aimed at reducing the number of cervical cancer cases in Guyana by providing access to early cancer screening and as such the two groups are seeking a partnership with the First Lady to provide this service to women in remote locations.
The First Lady commended the two groups on the work that they have done and noted that in addition to early diagnoses, education is also important in preventative care. “One of the things I am interested in because I also work with a lot of young women is education. Also the availability of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine, which would bring down [the number] of cancer cases… Going into the hinterland areas, which is very important, to get that information out to young girls and their parents to make sure that they are screened [and] that they understand the threat of [HPV], which you can prevent with a vaccine,” she said.
First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger, gestures as she makes a point during the meeting.
Mr. Chan said that he is confident that today’s meeting would lead to further collaboration. “Just having met with [the First Lady] was a boost for us. We see that her office is interested is working, this is their focus on working with women and children and it is interesting to see that we have the same focus so it is important that we collaborate and each of us understanding what our [role] is so that we don’t duplicate
Similar sentiments were expressed by Ms. Hassan, who also invited the First Lady to participate in the Cancer Awareness Walk in October. Ms. Hassan was accompanied by Ms. Audrey Morris and Ms. Farah Youseff.
Guyana Medical Relief Foundation is a Guyanese non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in Los Angeles, California, USA, which focuses on women’s and children’s health. The Foundation ship medicines and medical supplies to hospitals in Guyana and has also built a number of VIA (Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid) cervical cancer test clinics at Mahaicony, Bartica and Charity.
The Guyana Cancer Foundation provides access to cervical cancer screening to women and girls across the country by offering free Papanicolaou tests (Pap test/Pap smear) at the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Kingston, Georgetown.