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Sticking to early detection mission

marciadottin, [email protected]

Sticking to early detection mission

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As charity donors tighten their purse strings in the current economic climate, the Barbados Cancer Society plans to be even more frugal spending the money it gets to fight the dreaded disease.
President Dr Dorothy Cooke-Johnson said the society planned to keep its main focus on early detection even though she predicted it would become more difficult to secure funding for the organisation’s work as the more than 100 registered charities in Barbados competed for the same pool of money allocated to these causes by the local business community and other donors.
She added that the organisation was getting a lot of requests for medication costing as much as $3 000 and $7 000 per phial for people in more advanced stages of cancer stages.
Such expensive chemotherapy costs, she pointed out, were prohibitive for many people who could require up to six phials for a course of treatment.
While the society tried to give assistance, Cooke-Johnson said it was becoming more difficult to purchase the medication because of increasing competition from large countries like China, for the drugs.
“We are going to be very careful. We are quite frugal in ensuring we get the best value out of every dollar we get,” Cooke-Johnson told the MIDWEEK NATION on Monday after accepting a cheque for $17 825 from general manager of Shell Western, Dave Chapman, at the company’s Wildey, St Michael offices.
The money was raised by Shell Western workers in a moustache-growing competition led last November by Shell Western employee Peetram Kirpalani.
Cooke-Johnson acknowledged the business community was also experiencing difficulties, a point supported by Chapman.
He said in light of the current economic squeeze, his company was also being selective about the charities it was supporting. But a cause such as the Barbados Cancer Society’s was in his view a deserving beneficiary.
The money received from the challenge will go towards the purchase of a prostatic ultrasound machine which Cooke-Johnson said was badly needed by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
She said while men were beginning to respond to education about prostate cancer and the benefits of early detection, yet more than 100 men in Barbados were dying of the disease every year because they were being diagnosed too late.
The aim was to drastically reduce this number, she said.
By giving the $50 000 prostatic ultrasound equipment to the hospital’s Urology Department, Cooke-Johnson said more men would have access to more accurate screening for prostate cancer, and more lives could be saved.