A major financial institution on the island has come to the assistance of the Grenada Cancer Society, RBTT Bank (Grenada) Limited, last week Wednesday, handed over $11,741.10 to the Grenada Cancer Society to assist with its provision of medical care to people suffering from the disease.
The ceremony for the handing over of the funds took place at RBTT’s former main office on Cross Street, St. George’s.
The bank’s Country Manager, Musa Jasat said that in June 2009 RBC RBTT established a Caribbean Children’s Cancer Fund to assist young people and their families by providing them with the support needed to obtain medical care and treatment.
According to Jasat, the bank had committed US$200,000 annually up to 2013 to the initiative.
“Since 2009, RBC RBTT Caribbean Children’s Cancer Fund has provided funding for more than 40 patients from the age of two months to 16 years from the countries of Trinidad, Jamaica, Grenada, Dominica, Guyana and The Bahamas,” he said.
Jasat spoke of President of the Grenada Cancer Society, Dr. Barrymore McBarnette who was grateful for the monetary contribution informing him that the disease has been the highest cause of deaths on the island in the last five years.
He said that childhood cancer is the number one disease killer among children, surpassing asthma, diabetes and pediatric age.
The bank manager stated that the disease is developed by one out of every six hundred children before the age of 16.
He said that from reports more than eighty percent of the cases of cancer are curable once detected early.
McBarnette indicated that while he does not have the immediate statistics of deaths due to cancer annually, the Grenada Cancer Society focuses a lot on public education of the disease of preventative measures, increasing awareness, and support to the patients and their families.
The medical doctor said support is given to people who have been diagnosed with cancer.
He added that financial support is given to patients receiving chemotherapy and indicated that the $11,000 given could easily be liquidated by the cost of chemotherapy drugs for breast cancer.
Dr. McBarnette pointed out that many Grenadians have difficulty in meeting the costs of the chemotherapy treatment, which is very costly.
Secretary to the society, Osbert James who also spoke at the presentation ceremony noted that efforts are ongoing by the Grenada Cancer Society to take charge of the registry of patients who have the disease.
While there are Grenadians who receive medical attention from the General Hospital, many people travel abroad for treatment and die outside of the country without the information being passed on to the local Cancer Society.
In recent years, the local staff of RBTT has taken on the Cancer Society as its charity in support of the Children’s Cancer Fund.
Member of the internal RBTT Cancer Society, Anika James told THE NEW TODAY newspaper that they would normally hold fundraising activities to assist the Society.
Among men, the prevalent form of cancer is prostate cancer, while the women are usually affected by breast and cervical cancers.