September 23 is Blue Day
THE MINISTRY of Health and Wellness is inviting members of the public to actively participate in Prostate Cancer Awareness Month by wearing blue on Friday, September 23, which has been designated as Blue Day.
Non-communicable diseases (NCD) risk factor programme development officer in the NCD and Injury Prevention Unit at the ministry, Dr Cathi-Ann Williams, said Blue Day is a significant part of the month’s activities.
“On September 23, we encourage our healthcare workers and the public to wear blue to raise awareness around prostate cancer and also to honour prostate cancer survivors and their caregivers,” Williams said.
Blue is the colour that has been officially designated for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, which is celebrated annually during September. The programme development officer also outlined various screening activities that will take place across the island as the health and wellness ministry seeks to encourage men to get screened.
“As it relates to screening and access to screening, we are partnering with the Jamaica Cancer Society (JCS) and other entities to ensure that this is available in the public sphere, more so in this month,” Williams said.
“We have some dates, so far, from the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA), for prostate cancer screening for the public, and the cancer society is working with all the parishes as well to have screening activities and those dates will be made available, once confirmed,” she added.
These special sessions, Williams indicated, will create an avenue for men who have busy jobs and are not normally able to take the time off to do so, as the screening will be brought closer to them within the parishes.
“So, we are really encouraging our men to come and get screened. They should be able to make these extra sessions to ensure that they have the necessary screening that they need,” she said.
The programme development officer also said that media engagement will be heightened during the month. This, she said, will be done using print, television, and social media.
“We are working, as well, through Digicel to send out SMS messaging around prostate cancer awareness and the importance of screening,” she added. Online prostate cancer awareness sessions will be held with team members from the Jamaica Public Service Company on Tuesday, September 13 and Tuesday, September 20. Screening sessions in WRHA, through the JCS, have been confirmed for Saturday, September 24, and Friday, September 30, in St James.