The BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) is moving forward with the plan to establish a cancer registry here in the Territory. The need for the registry was called for in 2013 by the BVI Cancer Society on two separate occasions. In fact, Darlene Carty Baptiste, CEO of the BVI Health Services Authority informed reporters last year that the Registry was one of the projects the Authority intended to for the immediate future.
The Registry seems closer now to fruition as it is outlined in the Authority’s 2013/2014 Budget that was laid on the table of the recent House of Assembly sitting. The document stated that the Medical Records Unit of the BVIHSA will be developing a computerized tumor registry.
The establishment of the tumor registry is part of the Unit’s efforts to prioritize and make the retrieval of patient information quicker to expedite the continuum of care, and developing policy and procedures to guarantee patient confidentiality.
Additionally the Unit also intends to develop a chronic non-communicable disease database.
President of the BVI Cancer Society, Gloria Fahie while speaking at luncheon that was held at the Pub restaurant in October last year stressed the need for the cancer registry. She said: “We need a national registry, we need the Government to get involved, we can’t do it alone because research takes a lot of money we don’t have the funds…”
She said the registry will be crucial in fathoming why there is such a high cancer diagnosis figure from certain areas of the Territory, and explained that the First District is one of the areas affected in the BVI. Mrs. Fahie also mentioned that there is an area in Virgin Gorda affected as well: “I don’t know about Virgin Gorda, but I can specifically speak about the First District area. We have a lot of cancers coming out of that area,” the Cancer Society President announced.
The view about a high number of cancer cases in certain areas of the Territory was also noted by Minister for Education and Culture, Hon. Myron Walwyn at the same luncheon. The Minister said: “Cancer is indeed an issue in this country. I would really love to see some sort of study done as to why the rate is so high. I believe a study would reveal some very interesting things to us. I think just from my little local knowledge, it seems to be concentrated on a particular part of the island, which again may show something that there is a connection.”
In early 2013 Chief Executive Officer of the BVI Health Services Authority Mrs. Baptiste told reporters that a cancer registry will be established as part of the BVIHSA’s Cancer Prevention mechanism. She added: “We are looking at screening services and screening capabilities or even developing a tumor register or cancer registry, and looking at the number of cancers and document it throughout the BVI.”