2019 was a productive year for the Dominica Cancer Society (DCS) and its president Yvonne Alexander said the society was finally able to complete their Strategic Plan.
The plan is set to assist in guiding the programs of the DCS and will focus on three Strategic Objectives for the next few years.
In an exclusive interview with Dominica News Online this week, Alexander said the plan is expected to strengthen interventions to facilitate early diagnosis, and access to treatment for those affected.
Once implemented it will also strengthen comprehensive treatment, care, and support for individuals diagnosed with cancer and their families, mobilizing adequate resources through fundraising and partnerships to sustain the implementation of activities of the DCS.
She said the DCS continues to focus on its three main areas of interest which involve the mobilization of financial resources, educating and advocating about cancer care and providing psycho-social support to survivors and their families.
Meantime Alexander pointed to several other activities which she said attributed to the major achievement including a Walk for Cancer Care, World Cancer Day and the Candle Light Vigil.
The DCS, she said, was also pleased to join the global community in observing World Cancer Day on Sunday, February 4th, 2019 under the Theme “I am and I Will Educate and Advocate for Cancer Care.”
She said new methods were also explored in reaching a wider cross-section of individuals affected by cancer.
In 2019, the Society observed its first-ever Prostate Cancer Awareness month in September.
“This took the form of weekly radio discussions on the topic as well as collaboration with medical practitioners and medical service providers to offer free or reduced-cost prostate screening services during the month of September,” she explained.
A “Men’s Health Forum” was also held on Saturday, September 21st in an effort to provide an opportunity for men to receive prostate health information from medical professionals who are experts in the field.
The DCS President said an Ostomy Support Group was formed stating that the Society was pleased to welcome and accommodate a monthly meeting of Ostomy survivors and supporters.
An Ostomy causes a change in the way urine or stool exits the body as a result of a surgical procedure.
“The purpose of the group is to provide advice and support to individuals using colostomies and urostomies and those caring for them,” Alexander told our newsroom.
But like every organization, the DCS faces a few challenges, including financial and human resource problems.
Alexander explained that the Society is heavily dependent on the generosity of the Government of Dominica, corporate partners, and the general public to finance its day to day operations.
“This limits the ability of the DCS to provide more frequent educational and outreach programmes, particularly targeting rural communities,” she said.
Despite these challenges, Alexander told us that the DCS was able to provide financial assistance in the amount of $EC129,755.00 to various individuals, to assist in meeting the cost of their treatment.