PINK packages for nurses
ICWI, Jamaica Producers and Chas E Ramson team up in breast cancer fightTuesday, October 26, 2021
Approximately 200 female nurses from the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) will receive PINK gift packages — as part of a breast cancer initiative — in recognition of the work they do to care for patients and to remind them that they, too, are vulnerable to the disease.
The gifts form part of a collaborative effort between Insurance Company of the West Indies (ICWI), Jamaica Producers (JP) and Chas E Ramson.
Title sponsor for the yearly Pink Run, ICWI continues to be a big proponent of breast cancer awareness across the Caribbean, amid the absence of the run due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to a $1-million donation to Jamaica Reach to Recovery, the insurance company decided to also focus its attention on people working on the front lines each day to save lives.
Samantha Samuda, vice-president for marketing and human resources at ICWI, explained why the company decided to take on this initiative.
“Our nurses on the front line work tirelessly to care for their patients. We all know it is a daunting task, and as such, it is easy for them to lose track of their own needs,” she said.
The organisation teamed up with Chas E Ramson and JP to donate the PINK gift bags along with a number of pink items to remind each nurse that they need to conduct their own self-examination coupled with their annual mammograms.
SERHA's regional nursing supervisor Marcia Thomas-Yetman, who accepted the donations on behalf of the nurses, explained that: “Every time they look at the pink bags it will be a definite reminder that they are to do their self-breast checks and also to encourage their family members to do so.”
Long-time supporter of the Jamaica Cancer Society and the Jamaica Reach to Recovery's Pink Run, Chas E Ramson was quick to join the initiative. So too was JP, which provided the nurses with snacks and fruits.
“When ICWI reached out for our support to fill 200 gift bags for nurses working on the front line, we did not hesitate to get involved. We have supplied the nurses with lots of nutritional goodies to get them through the day. This is our small way of saying 'Thank you' for all that they do,” said Marsha Lee Stewart, brand manager at Chas E Ramson.
Erin Mitchell, marketing manager, JP Snacks, said, “Our nurse practitioners have worked very hard over the past 18 months, and even more so now. They deserve to be celebrated and recognised for the contributions they have made”.
Breast cancer is the leading cancer among Jamaican women. It is estimated that each year, one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime.
The Global Cancer Observatory outlines that approximately 1,208 new breast cancer cases were detected in 2020, a 24 per cent increase over the 974 cases reported in 2018. The data show a steady increase in breast cancer among Jamaicans each year.
At a presentation held last Friday at ICWI's head offices in New Kingston, Samuda asserted that, “Cancer deaths can be decreased by as much as one third with early detection and treatment. It is our duty to remind our people, especially women who form the greatest number of new cases each year, that they need to take greater care of themselves.”
Samuda stressed the importance of early detection which, he noted, “is the best protection”.