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Mar 17, 2015

Cancer Society Receives Grant Funding from Abroad

The Belize Cancer Society is the recipient of a nine thousand five hundred U.S. dollar grant that was awarded by the Healthy Caribbean Coalition with funding from the American Cancer Society. Heather Reneau of the Belize Cancer Society says the grant will be used to screen over a thousand at risk women for cervical cancer.

 

Heather Reneau, Senior Administrator, Belize Cancer Society

“Now, this grant is geared specifically at targeting cervical cancer; that’s screening, testing, on site syndromic management to at risk women in rural communities because sometimes you realize that women in the city have more access to medical services and testing, so you find that women in the rural areas would mostly take it as a back seat and they neglect themselves to some extent. So, at the Cancer Society, with our regional partners, the HCC and American Cancer Society, and UNESCO, as we had received a grant from UNESCO, with the same initiatives in line. So, we hope to combine these two grants and meet almost all at risk women in the country of Belize.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“You talk about targeting at risk women, is there a number you’re hoping to target?”

 

Heather Reneau

Heather Reneau

“Yes. Both grants combined would give us the opportunity to screen and treat almost twelve hundred women in the country of Belize. Presently with the HCC grant funded by the American Cancer Society, we are directly targeting five hundred women for screening and treatment which will be two hundred from the Belize Rural Valley. So, we are getting assistance from the Ministry of Health, with our local counterparts, the Central Health Region, and we hope to roll out this campaign right after the Easter. So, if you are in the Ladyville and Lord’s Bank area, look out for us. We are coming. The services will be free.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Looking at the number of people with cancers in Belize; how significant is this project in terms of lowering that number?”

 

Heather Reneau

“It is very significant and close to our hearts. You know, we focus on breast cancer and prostate and we have realized that on a national level the HPV virus is becoming rampant in our young people. We have seen that the young teenagers are having many outbreaks with the HPV virus and if we don’t treat it and educate them properly how to take care of themselves, by the time they are twenty something they have stage three or four cervical cancer; which is a completely treatable cancer. It is one of the cancers that we can actually get rid of.”

 

The initiative will be implemented over a four month period.

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