Registered Charity No.05/2013
Registered Charity No.05/2013
The Pink Ribbon Charity Montserrat was registered on Montserrat in April 2013. The charity grew out of an idea birthed in 2009 by Clinical Specialist Sonographer Sonia Charles. She saw that, since the volcanic eruptions of 1996, there were no mammogram facilities in Montserrat and there was a dire need for the service.
Women who had discovered lumps in their breasts needed to get a mammogram but lacked the resources to obtain one in neighbouring Antigua. She made contact with Dr Eumel Samuel, Consultant Radiologist and owner of the Belmont Clinic in Antigua, who upon hearing the plight of women in Montserrat, offered a 50% discount on mammograms. The charity also supports ultrasound scans for a select group of patients under the age of 40 with urgent need to evaluate the breast for abnormalities. This referral must be made by a medical doctor following a clinical breast examination.
Initially Sonia Charles, through her company Caribscan, organised fundraising activities to assist the women to travel to Antigua and made the necessary arrangements along with lead volunteers Daphne Charles and Amanda Archibald for women to get the much needed mammogram. This task was later transferred to the Pink Ribbon Charity Montserrat, Inc upon its inception. The charity has continued the fundraising activities to assist the women of Montserrat to access mammograms in Antigua.
The main focus of The Pink Ribbon Charity is on prevention through an increased awareness of having regular Mammograms. Plans are on the way for a Mammogram machine be available on island to facilitate easy access to regular breast screening. The aim is to eradicate breast cancer deaths on the island through promoting healthy lifestyle and monitoring for early detection.
Health officials have stated that between 2008 and 2019, 19 women on island were diagnosed with breast cancer, of which five. 5 have died. This, the charity says, is a significant number for such a small community.
To date, more than 300 women have received mammograms at the Belmont Clinic in Antigua. Prior to travelling to Antigua, the women must visit either Dr Ingrid Buffonge or Dr Braimah Kassim for a free pre-mammogram screening and complete a pre-mammogram screening questionnaire. The women will also receive a mammogram referral letter. They then telephone the Belmont Clinic on 1-268-562-1343 to arrange an appointment. Mammograms are provided Mon - Fri 8:30-15:00. Women are generally given copies of mammogram results on the same day, one of which is given to their referring doctor on their return to Montserrat.
The Mount St John Medical Centre in Antigua, also provides Mammogram Services to Montserrat via the Charity for a small number of patients. This service is accessed during downtimes at the Belmont Clinic in Antigua.
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