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Lets do more to stop cancer

Published: 
Wednesday, February 7, 2018

On Sunday February 4, thousands of supporters around the world, held events to mark the final year of the ‘We can. I can’ campaign co-ordinated by the UICC, the international organisation dedicated to the reducing the world’s global burden of cancer.

This empowering message reminds us that everyone—as individuals or as a collective—can take action to reduce the impact of cancer for themselves, the people they love and the wider world.

This year the Pan American Health Organization is collaborating with member states to strengthen Women Cancer Prevention and Control in the Americas.

In this regard, the Trinidad and Tobago Non Communicable Diseases Alliance (TTNCDA) joins the Healthy Caribbean Coalition in calling for increased efforts to eliminate cancer of the cervix from our region.

We have the tools and as one 12-year old girl put it, “all children her age should have the opportunity to live a life knowing that they are protected” from this one cancer.

T&T’s laudable goal of preventing cervical cancer remains achievable as the HPV vaccine has been included in the national immunisation schedule and is free at all public institutions.

HPV vaccination provides safe, effective and lasting protection against the HPV infections.

The Ministry of Health reports that among Trinidad and Tobago’s leading cancers, the incidence rate of cervical cancer is estimated at 24 per cent with an upward projected trend line; this average is two-times higher than global estimates (MOH News Bulletin, 2012).

The TTNCDA supports the Ministry of Health’s efforts to achieve 95 per cent coverage of the HPV vaccine as it does for many of its other vaccines.

We urge our partners especially community-based organisations to join the initiatives that will be necessary at all levels—in the communities, among families, in the Regional Health Authorities and at the policy level.

The TTNCDA takes this opportunity to remind us all that a large proportion of all cancers can be avoided by adopting a healthy lifestyle which targets the four modifiable risk factors.

This calls for a lifestyle of no tobacco; moderate alcohol intake as recommended; diet rich in fruits and vegetable and low in salt, sugar and fats; and integrating physical activity into our daily routines.

The Trinidad and Tobago Non Communicable Diseases Alliance is a partnership of nine Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) which provides a common platform for action for addressing the prevention and control of NCDs, initially cardiovascular diseases (heart attack and stroke), diabetes, cancers, chronic lung diseases and obesity and their risk factors.

T&T NCD ALLIANCE

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