President of the Grenada Cancer Society, Dr. Barrymore Mc Barnette has said that cancer remains a very serious problem in Grenada.
Dr. Mc Barnette made the statement at a ceremony in which he received $37,300 as funds raised from the annual “Walk For The Cure” programme that for the past five years has been undertaken by First Caribbean International Bank (FCIB) to provide assistance to cancer patients.
He told persons attending the ceremony held at the Grenada National Stadium last week Thursday that cancer has been the leading cause of death in Grenada for the last five years with all age groups being involved.
The medical doctor disclosed that between November and December he counted about 16 deaths as a result of cancer, and quite recently two young boys came down with the disease.
He said one of the children, a four-year old boy with a tumor of the kidney is currently being treated in Jamaica, and another four-year old with cancer in his jaw, is currently receiving treatment in Trinidad.
“Sometimes I am not sure if the authorities and other stakeholders recognise the gravity of the problem,” he told the event.
Dr. Mc Barnette noted that cancer patients still turn up at the St. George’s General Hospital very late without seeking early treatment from medical professionals.
He said there is a great need for more health promotional awareness about cancer in Grenada.
The Grenada Cancer Society which has been in existence since 1984 has been coming to the assistance of cancer patients for a number of years through finance, care, counseling and education.
Each year, FCIB collaborates with a number of stakeholders that provide finance for the bank’s initiative to help fight cancer.
FCIB Country Manager, Nigel Ollivierre who gave a background to the “Walk For The Cure” said the programnme began in 2012 in the 17 regional territories where the bank operates as a partner with their parent company, Caribbean Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) with their programme, “Run For The Cure.”
Ollivierre believes the programme has created a very positive impact on the society, not in just raising awareness, but raising a significant sum of money for use by the Grenada Cancer Society.
In 2013 the local bank raised $3,286, 2014 $16,786, 2015 $26,000, and in 2016 $37,300.
FCIB was looking forward to raising $40,000 in 2016, but the figure fell short due to the bank inability to undertake a luncheon as part of its fund-raising activity which was expected to bring in around $3,000.
The bank’s country manager disclosed that every possible avenue is looked at in raising funds including charging members of staff wearing jeans on a particular day, and having a walk.
Regionally, FCIB has contributed over US $1.5M to the cause of cure for cancer.
Ollivierre announced that for 2017 he has his eyes set on raising $50,000.
He recognised the consistency of the stakeholders in partnering with the bank stating that they recognise the sponsors have been demonstrating their passion for the programme showing that they are interested in having the Grenada Cancer Society continue to be able to help those that are in need.
The “Walk For The Cure” programme is usually launched within the first quarter of each year, and climax sometime in the month of October.