November 28, 2016
A free breast cancer screening programme for thousands of at-risk women on Eleuthera, Cat Island, Long Island and Exuma will launch in early 2017.
The programme is a partnership between One Eleuthera Foundation, Cancer Society of The Bahamas, Cancer Society of Eleuthera, and Rotary Club of Eleuthera.
It will provide mammography and ultrasound screening.
Cancer Society of Eleuthera is leading the programme and screenings will take place weekly at their Wellness Centre in Palmetto Point.
One Eleuthera Foundation was formed in 2012 to promote sustainable community development. Felix Stubbs is the chairman and Shaun Ingraham is the chief executive officer.
“Our goal is to strengthen our communities by investing in high-quality projects that promote economic and social development and that are environmentally sustainable,” Ingraham said. “Breast cancer is a serious health issue in the Bahamas and we are dedicating significant resources to help."
The Bahamas ranks among the top 20 countries in the world in terms of the number of women with breast cancer. Nine per cent of Bahamian women have the potentially deadly disease. And it is the most common form of cancer affecting Bahamian women.
A 2013 survey initiated by the Foundation - in conjunction with Emory University of Atlanta, Rotary Club of Eleuthera and Cancer Society of Eleuthera - identified 3,000 women on Eleuthera alone who need annual screening for breast cancer.
Some of the participants in the mammogram screening programme operated by Cancer Society of Eleuthera whop travel to Nassau annually for screening. One Eleuthera Foundation's Breast Cancer Programme will soon enable these women, and hundreds more, to be screened on Eleuthera at the Wellness Centre in Palmetto Point.
Ride for Hope, a charity cycling event, has been providing free annual mammogram screenings to about 45 women per year from the island for several years. But after the 2013 survey, One Eleuthera Foundation began developing its own breast cancer screening, education and support programme to help make up the shortfall.
The outreach component of the programme is partly funded by a grant from Susan G. Komen, the largest breast cancer organisation in the United States.
Mammography and ultrasound facilities will be placed in the Palmetto Point Wellness Centre on Eleuthera. And over $230,000 has been raised to support the programme to date.
Additionally, USNORTHCOM (which co-ordinates US homeland defence), has donated a mammogram machine to the Eleuthera Imaging Programme through the United States Embassy in Nassau. This gift will be facilitated by the government, which is also providing an administrator and technician for the screening facility.
The Foundation is also working with local and international Rotary Clubs, as well as other partners, to finance the ultrasound component of the project and to expand breast cancer education and outreach.
One Eleuthera Foundation is a Bahamian non-profit organisation committed to sustainable development on the island of Eleuthera. Its role is to find the resources needed to effect positive change in education, health, culture, heritage, the economy and the environment.
By One Eleuthera Foundation