Breast Cancer is on the rise in the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Ministry of Health has been searching for innovative ways to bring awareness to the populace, so they would be better able detect it early.
Aldora Robinson, Director of the Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit in the Ministry of Health and Human Services told reporters at the presentation of the Breast Cancer Awareness Poster Competition at the Treasury on Providenciales, May 31, that the TCI has seen a spike in recent time.
However, she said her department would spare no effort to finds innovative ways to bring awareness so that the community, inclusive of males and females would get to educate itself to avoid late detection.
“Breast Cancer is on the rise within the Turks and Caicos Islands, and we wanted to bring more awareness. But what would we want to do with government, because we should look at ourselves first. And so, we came up with the idea of looking at a competition,” Robinson said.
She added: “The competition is being held to bring more awareness, so persons would be able to detect early the signs and symptoms of cancer…breast cancer in particular. We want to draw attention to the fact that you should do monthly exams on your breasts, not only women but men as well.”
She said this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness competition was about decorating a door or an area in a government office, to bring more awareness to customers.
“So, in doing that, we gave the different ministries, offices and departments a place where they had to research, come up with ideas in order to inform the public about breast cancer,” Robinson said.
“And so, it was a dual process where education was taking place in the government offices, as well as to customers that would enter those offices. We thought that would be an effective way to address the public and the government sector,” she added.
The Treasury was declared winners for this year’s competition. The Ministry of Home Affairs, according to Robinson, was last year’s winner.
Robinson said the judges looked at creativity and information provided by the contestants.
Vanessa Forbes, Senor Tax Officer in the Revenue Department said her team worked extremely hard in putting the winning information together.
“This particular project was very special to me. I am a daughter of a survivor. I am also the niece of someone who had lost their live to breast cancer, so I know the importance of detection.
“So, we were able to share that with the community. Everyone comes here to the Treasury, so I am pretty sure we reached a lot of persons who saw our design,” Forbes said.
Roxandra Higgs, Tax Officer, though played a great part in the designing of the project said it was a team effort. She said the aim was to make the display memorable and identifiable, especially to those who were either inflicted with the disease or had recovered.
Destiny Rosario, a staff of the Treasury, who was the chief designer of the display, said the theme behind the project was community and unity.
“…I then thought that I would come up with a design that would touch everyone and made everyone feel connected, and to show them that they are not alone, and that we were all in this together, and we are here for each other,” she said.
The wining team was handed a trophy and other gifts.