The Great Pap Smear Campaign was another proactive move by the NCRHA to reduce the high incidence of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Trinidad and Tobago, specifically among women. As part of the NCRHA’s desire for continuous improvement and engagement in disruptive innovations, this campaign was a core pillar of the NCRHA’s aim to improve public health, through the office of its Primary Health Care services.
The initiative returned for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic on Saturday, 23rd April 2022 at the Mount Hope Women’s Hospital, Colposcopy Centre. More than six hundred (600) women were given the opportunity to screen for cervical cancer and received on-site medical consultations, among other services.
Of those in attendance, four hundred and ninety-five (495) women were given Pap Smears. Of that number, fifty-nine (59) of those women had abnormal results, with eleven (11) identified as high risk of developing cancer and two (2) low risk for developing cancer.
While the number in and of itself was relatively small, the implication of the intervention for each of those persons is substantial. Early screening and detection would have provided them with the opportunity to access specialist consultation, and treatment subsequently.
CEO Davlin Thomas explained that the Great Pap Smear Initiative was, from inception, deeply focused on creating avenues to provide the best possible care – particularly to our women by identifying those at-risk or suffering from preventable illnesses.
“Our principal aim with these initiatives is to eliminate critical risks for our citizens by promoting and providing early screening, results and follow up care, where necessary to ensure that there is minimum chance that serious complications develop and maximum opportunity for our mothers, our sisters, our daughters, our aunts to live the best quality of life possible.” Thomas indicated.
Chairman of the NCRHA, Mr Steve De Las extended special commendations to the Executive Management and staff, highlighting their labour of love, commitment and sacrifice as being instrumental in ensuring that our beloved citizens are better positioned to live healthier lifestyles. “Our staff have consistently been on the frontline. They are the heroes that faithfully stand in the gap on a daily basis, dedicated to the service of our communities. I wish to publicly encourage and salute them, as they continue to be a force for good health.” Chairman stated.
Attendees were also treated to entertainment throughout the day’s proceedings by a wide range of talented local artistes, instrumentalists and dancers, including Swappi, David Bereaux, the Amritam Shakti Dance Company, the North West Cultural Performers and much more.
In addition to pap smears, the initiative also featured a wealth of health and wellness screenings and services including ophthalmic counselling, dental screening, dietetic counselling, family planning, mental health, HIV testing, and immunizations and vaccinations.
The NCRHA intends to continue its current thrust to provide premium healthcare to the people of Trinidad and Tobago, particularly through its outreach programmes and initiatives. Plans are already in place to host another instalment of the Pap Smear Initiative, as well as Men’s Wellness and Children’s initiative as the Authority seeks to make certain premium health care services remains readily available and accessible to all.