GRPA Launches VIA Screening
As part of its efforts to support women’s rights to sexual and reproductive health, the Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association (GRPA) yesterday launched its Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA) screening programme to detect cervical cancer. Simultaneously, a regional training programme catering to local health professionals and others from Belize, Trinidad, Grenada, Suriname and St Lucia was introduced at a simple ceremony venued at the GRPA Quamina Street, Georgetown, headquarters.
With funding from the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the training is being held in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, with Dr. John Varallo of JHPIEGO, an affiliate of the John Hopkins University, as the facilitator. His task will be to train both trainers and providers of VIA screening. The focus on VIA screening and training comes at a time when Guyana is recording very high rates of cervical cancer, according to GRPA Executive Director, Ms Patricia Sheerattan-Bisnauth. GRPA, she said, is already offering pap smears and will continue to do so along with the VIA screening; services which she believes will reach a wide range of women across Guyana.
“Sexual and reproduction rights are really vital for a healthy Guyana…it is very important for healthy families and for us to address many other problems we face as a nation and we hope at GRPA we will continue to step-up and step-forward and increase and enhance the services that we provide,” said Sheerattan-Bisnauth.