Remarks by Minister for Health and Social Development
Honourable Carvin Malone
In Observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month
The month of October is observed as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
As Minister of Health and Social Development, I am pleased to join with the BVI Cancer Society and with the people of the British Virgin Islands in observing this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, under the Theme – ‘Believe There Is Hope for a Cure’.
Breast Cancer Awareness month serves to bring our focus not only about breast cancer – BUT - all the different types of cancers that have affected and continue to affect the health of our people. During this month, we also bring special remembrance to the strength of those who have survived cancer; those who continue to fight; their supporters; caretakers; of relatives and of friends who are no longer with us.
I would like to especially remember the late Nurse Veronica Bhajan who was also a faithful member of the BVI Cancer Society and recently lost her battle to this painstaking disease. My condolences goes out to her loved ones and nursing colleagues. I also extend condolences to all other families within our communities who have lost a loved due to cancer during this past year.
While cancer is an illness that has caused many persons and families great pain, we must Believe There is Hope for a Cure. We must believe And hope for a cure; so that all our people are able to enjoy the gift of a healthy and long life. Let us all do our part To Be The Hope for our many survivors, caretakers and loved ones.
We must pause even during this Covid-19 pandemic to celebrate and care for those who, through God’s grace, are survivors. We must give our support to those who continue to fight. We must fight with them; pray with them; -- and -- as influencers, provide opportunities or access to treatment and care. We must continue to inspire them!
Let us all do our part in believing there is hope for a cure. We must continue to be strong and to remember that early detection is key!
In the BVI, we have had a high rate of cancer, especially breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. We have also had some instances of breast cancer in men in the BVI; we have had four (4) cases with only one (1) survival.
So during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, my hope is that each and every one of you will have your annual physicals, have your annual mammograms and that includes men as well. Men must be mindful to your colonoscopy done -- especially if you are over the age of 45.
I will continue to advocate that residents, especially at risk persons, aim at living healthier lifestyles and use the Complete Health Improvement Program also known as CHIP that is being led by the Ministry of Health and Social Development. CHIP is a research-tested, intensive lifestyle designed to prevent, arrest and reverse many common chronic diseases.
We here at the Ministry are pulling out all the stops to ensure that persons from across the Territory become involved and are trained in this Complete Health Improvement Programme with the long term aim of improving the health of our citizens and reducing the growing occurrences of cancer cases in the Virgin Islands.
As your Minister of Health, I believe there is hope and I pray that we are given the wisdom and knowledge to find a cure.
I must give special appreciation and recognition to all the public sector agencies, the private sector businesses, non-profit organisations, and all other interested groups that join in activities that will bring awareness or will increase awareness of the survival and prevention of cancer here in the Virgin Islands. I salute non-profit organizations like the BVI Cancer Society for all their efforts.
I must also say, on behalf of the Premier and Minister of Finance the Honourable Andrew Fahie, that my government is especially pleased with all those in the BVI business community who have contributed immensely even in these difficult financial times during the Covid-19 pandemic. I am advised that businesses across all sectors have contributed in numerous ways when called upon. Government cannot do it alone and we are especially thankful for all your efforts in bringing hope through all your donations and contributions to the BVI Cancer Society.
Let me also invite my Honourable colleagues to remember all those within the Virgin Islands who have lost their battle with cancer and especially to remember our fallen sister, the Late Honourable Delores Christopher and the Late Honourable Paul P. Wattley.
Again, I would like to encourage you during this Breast Cancer Awareness month to get yourself tested and schedule your annual medical check-ups.
Live a CHIP lifestyle and improve your overall health!
Believe There is a Hope for Cure!
Be that Hope!