Thursday, May 8, 2008

A vision for a cancer-free CNMI

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the CNMI. Cancer has taken the lives of many loved ones. The vision is a cancer-free CNMI.

The Commonwealth Cancer Association has made tremendous strides in program activities for 2007.

To date, three DVD productions have been and continue to be aired on cable TV KSPN Channel 2, bringing cancer awareness to at least 5,000 viewers. A minimum of 100 persons have received a copy or two of the various cancer education publications at community events and health fairs.

CCA has also supported other community organizations, aiming to increase awareness to a larger audience. These include the cooking show, Kick Butts Day, Great Marianas Smokeout, HPV Campaign, and many others, impacting the lives of approximately 7,500 residents.

Support for cancer patients is still the organization's priority. Beds, wheelchairs, shower commodes, oxygen concentrator, chairs and CADD pumps are a small list of equipment items that are available for all cancer patients. Currently 12 patients are assisted with nutritional supplements.

Assistance is also provided to cancer patients for items associated with diagnosis, treatment, comfort measures or other issues associated with malignant disease; as well as wound care products, Pampers-style products for incontinence and supplies for care of ostomies. Prostheses requests for wigs, breast, limbs, etc. are accepted.

The greatest achievement for CCA and the CNMI Cancer Control Coalition is the application and award of $250,000 in grant funds for a five-year period. The grant will enable the CCA and Coalition to prevent cancer incidence through educational programs; detect cancer at the earliest stage possible; promote access to quality comprehensive cancer care; optimize the quality of long-term care for cancer survivors; monitor cancer data; and develop and support policies and initiatives

“We believe that more education and awareness is needed for our community to take an active role in preventing cancer for themselves and their family,” said Benjamin Seman, CCA chairman. Referring to the CNMI Cancer Control Plan, Seman said, “Achieving cancer prevention and control activities, must involve many sectors of the community, including community based organizations, social groups, local public health agencies, local government, non-governmental organizations, as well as regional and international partners.” (CCA)

No comments: