Grand Bahama News

100 women from GB get free mammogram screenings

One hundred women from East Grand Bahama obtained free mammogram screenings over the weekend thanks to a partnership between Doctors Hospital and the Mammogram Access Program (MAP).

The ladies traveled to New Providence on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in groups of 30, 40 and 30, respectively, on Western Air.

Director of Finance and Operations for Doctors Hospital Northern Bahamas Kendra Sturrup said that with the facility now having a presence in Freeport, patients were asking about getting mammogram exams done locally.

In observance of Breast Cancer Month, Doctors Hospital offers an annual October mammogram special providing screening for patients at a cost of $60.

“Because we do not have a mammogram machine in Grand Bahama yet, we did not want to disadvantage persons who were reaching out,” Sturrup explained.

“We wanted them to still have access to get the exams, but the only way we could do that in our own network is to have them in Nassau at our hospital there.”

She said she reached out to MAP founder Nikeia Watson because of her knowledge of the island and who needed screening.

“Speaking with her, I learned that her focus for right now is East Grand Bahama and so, we partnered with her in that initiative,” Sturrup said.

Sturrup said Doctors Hospital paid the cost of flying the 100 women from Grand Bahama to New Providence.

“That price was in the region of $24,000, which excluded transportation and food, which we are also covering,” she said.

Sturrup noted that the service was arranged by MAP and East Grand Bahama MP Kwasi Thompson.

“All of this was done, so that they will have a smooth process,” she said.

She added that the special will be extended to other women throughout the island.

“Although MAP is only working with women from East Grand Bahama, presently, Doctors Hospital will assist those ladies who want to have their exams done. All the patient needs to do is to have a referral, book the mammogram and pay the $60 cost of the exam plus VAT.

“We will pay for the inconvenience of you getting to Nassau,” Sturrup said.

Women interested in taking advantage of the Doctors Hospital mammogram promotion can contact Sturrup via email at kendrasturrup@doctorshosp.com or contact Kavala Medical Centre at 688-6002 or 348-2789.

Stephaine Ferguson, one of the women that made the trip on Saturday, described it as a “wonderful, stress-free experience”.

She commended everyone involved in making the trip a success.

Watson also traveled to Nassau for the exercise.

She explained that the 100 women are the second special needs group that her organization is focusing on this year.

“We are focusing on six special needs groups,” Watson said.

“In October, which was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, 50 dialysis patients were screened at the Kidney Centre in Freeport.

“They were the first group,” Watson added.

Watson noted that the participants from East End are particularly special to her because at the launch of MAP in 2021, it was her goal to have 100 women in that community screened.

She added that with this vision coming to fruition, planning has begun to duplicate the program on Abaco.

“We want to do this with 100 women in Abaco, then 100 disabled women during Disability Month, 100 pensioners and 100 cancer survivors making up the six targeted groups. We will be appealing to the public to support this initiative as we work toward increasing our screening rate, with the view of detecting cancer early and decreasing our mortality rate.

“So, this is a full-court press to get the women in that community to just pause for a moment, and really exam their personal health and get back on track.”

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