The Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana (CIOG) on Saturday held its first-ever pap smear drive at its Woolford Avenue, Georgetown location that benefitted some five hundred women.
In light of the high rate of cancer diagnoses amongst women in Guyana, the CIOG partnered with Eureka Lab to screen women for cervical cancer. Another factor that initiated the activity was the high cost of getting the tests done here in Guyana.
“So, the initiative came about because of the high rate of cancer in our country, to be specific, cervical cancer. So, it was very much inspirational for us, for this to be an initiative for us in helping our women. As we know the cost is approximately between eight to ten thousand Guyana dollars to get screening done and a lot of the women cannot afford this,” CIOG’s General Manager, Shameena Haniff told Guyana Times.
After the women are screened, the tests would be done at Eureka Lab after which the results would be available within 11 to 14 days. These, according to the information gathered, would be collected by CIOG and distributed to the women.
“After the sampling, it would then have to go to the pathology lab after which we will get the results. We would be dealing with the results because we have persons coming all the way from Berbice, all the way from the East Bank of Essequibo. So, what we will do with how we’re structured, we’ll be able to send those results with our representatives in each of the regions, rather than persons having to travel all the way back to Central Georgetown, so it would be easier on them accessing their results,” Haniff explained.
However, Haniff urged women to get their pap smear tests done as it could save their lives.
Bonita King who showed up to get her pap smear test done applauded the CIOG for its initiative and encouraged her fellow women to come out and get screened as well.
“Well, I think it’s a good thing for the community. Definitely, we need these kinds of things because not everybody can afford to go to the institution where they have to pay. It’s better to know early than to not know at all or when it’s too late,” King said.
Nevertheless, Haniff stated that another pap smear drive will be planned, this time, she noted it will target men. There were several volunteers at Saturday’s event including Dr Goodness E Onyeukwu, Dr Arlene Andries along with Carol Kumar, Jasmattie Ramraj-Khan and Shaneza Fiddel, who are all attached to the Guyana Cancer Foundation.