Sunday, March 7, 2010

Deputy Thelusma addresses women leaders in Gros Morne. Dr. Viola and Jackie Picard, RN are in the background.

PRESS RELEASE ....................


Source: Medicine For Peace (MFP)

Date: 08 Mar 2010

Gros Morne, Haiti - Medicine For Peace (MFP) will begin a new program focused on the early detection and treatment of cervical cancer and other sexually-transmitted diseases in Gros Morne in the northern Artibinite department. The program will formally begin on March 8 - International Women’s Day.

Haiti has one the highest rates of cervical cancer in the world, and few resources for the treatment of advanced stages of the disease. Early detection is essential. We see this program as the first step in a comprehensive women’s health initiative,” said Dr. Michael Viola, MFP Director.

“This program will go forward, even as we continue efforts to respond to the earthquake, and assist the large number of people who have fled Port-Au-Prince and settled in Gros Morne.”

The town of Gros Morne has a population of 22,000 residents, with an estimated 100,000 people living in surrounding mountainous villages. Many of the buildings in the region suffered structural damage during the earthquake, but there were no reported deaths. Approximately 25,000 people fled Port-Au-Prince and have resettled in Gros Morne; efforts are being made to provide shelter, food and water to the displaced families.

The cancer detection program will be centered at the Alma Mater Hospital and includes a team of Haitian physicians, nurses and a community educator. The focus will be on education of women with respect to cancer prevention, and the early detection and prompt treatment of cervical cancer. A mobile cervical cancer detection and treatment unit will travel to clinics in the surrounding areas.

On January 22, MFP and Haitian health professionals met with 26 women leaders representing women organizations in the region. Gerandal Thelusma, representative from the Gros Morne district in the Haitian House of Deputies was also present.

“Haitian women must take control of their lives, for themselves, their families and their children. Now more than ever, we need strong, healthy women, “ said Deputy Thelusma. “We must all work together to make this program a success.”