More than 17,000 ultra-sound examinations have been conducted by the Colposcopy Centre at the Mt Hope Women’s Hospital since January 2016, as the North Central Regional Health Authority moves to surpass government’s targets for improved women’s health in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Centre is the most advanced in the region and it will be accepting referrals from across the country. Apart from delivering faster and more accurate information for doctors, expanded use of the Centre will provide the framework for training and further development of local expertise in managing women’s health, said Chairman of the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA), Steve De Las.
He said the efforts and continued success of the ultrasound unit to impact positively on women’s health was possible because of the initiative and commitment of the NCRHA staff as they continued to embraced government strategy for improving the quality of life for our citizens.
De Las noted that continued collaboration had driven all the important decisions which were being made for the benefit of patients at the Centre, and he was excited about the recognition being gained by the Centre, and the positive impact the use of the facility will continue to have in the future.
NCRHA’s Chief Executive Officer, Davlin Thomas, highlighted the dedication of the staff who fully embraced the new thrust to eliminate cervical cancer at the earliest possible juncture. He said the Centre embraced a wide range of women-focused medical disciplines to deliver a fully integrated support program for patients attending the facility. These include a Neonatal Clinic, Outpatient Clinics (Antenatal and Gynaelogical), an Outpatient Pharmacy, an Ultrasound facility, a Family Planning Clinic, a Pap smear Clinic that facilitates Walk-in appointments, the Colposcopy Clinic, Lamaze classes, Dietetic Services and Social Work Services.
The Centre is the focal point of the country’s campaign to expand and improve women’s oncology services in Trinidad and Tobago. Colposcopy seeks to improve the early detection and timely treatment of cervical cancer and can be applied to decrease the burden of later stage cancer on patients and the local health system in general.
Cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality in women, and the aim of the Colposcopy Centre is to drive early detection of pre invasive cancer lesions. A colposcopy is important because the procedure can detect these lesions and cancer of the cervix at an early stage thus dramatically improving the chances of survival and often facilitates the complete recovery of the affected patient.
A colposcopy procedure is often performed after an abnormal cervical screening test or Pap Smear. It involves a detailed examination of the neck of the womb (cervix) using a special microscope called a colposcope. This allows the doctor to see the area of the abnormal cells and how the cells are developing. If needed, treatment of abnormal cervical cells and the removal of polyps can be immediately carried out at the Colposcopy Centre as well.
Anyone with an abnormal pap smear will be referred to the Colposcopy Centre for further investigation, as diagnosis and timely treatment has proven to significantly decrease the risk of cancer deaths in women.
The Centre was launched in response to the growing need for specialized medical care for women in Trinidad and Tobago. It started operations in December 2016 and was officially launched in March 2017.