Remarks as prepared
Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch
Launch of Guyana Cancer Society
March 12, 2022
His Excellency Irfaan Ali, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana,
Honorable Dr. Frank Anthony, Minister of Health,
Her Excellency Jane Miller, British High Commissioner,
His Excellency Mark Berman, Canadian High Commissioner,
Mr. Robert Natiello, Country Manager, International Office for Migration,
President, Guyana Cancer Society, Mr. Sharir Chan,
Dr Tariq Jagnarine, Director National AIDS Program Secretariat,
Sheik Moen ul-Hack, Director of Education,
Members of the Diplomatic Community,
Guyanese and U.S. NGO colleagues,
Members of the media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good afternoon. It is a privilege to be here today and speak at this event.
Although the Guyana Cancer Society is new, the relationships that myself and other Americans have formed with many of the people here today are not new. I have seen many of you before at outreaches held in locations across Guyana, I have worked with many of you before, and I know of your dedication to helping the Guyanese people. And for that I thank you.
Cancer is a problem that affects every gender, race, religion, and age. It does not discriminate. That is why it is so important for organizations like the Guyana Cancer Society to focus on prevention, early detection, and effective treatment. It is also important for the families of cancer patients to receive support and attention. Cancer does not just affect those who are diagnosed with it; cancer affects families and communities alike. I am eager to see how we can further the cause of diagnosing, treating, and helping those affected by cancer.
As we work together to battle cancer, we can empower women in the process. Breast cancer accounts for 22% of the cancer cases in Guyana while cervical cancer accounts for another 16%. The good news is that screening for these types of cancer is not a difficult process. The US Embassy has participated in many outreaches where cervical cancer screening was provided. I believe that Guyana Cancer Society will work tirelessly in the fight against cancer and their efforts combined with those of you here today can result in a reduction in the mortality rates of Guyanese women diagnosed with cancer. What a relief this will be, not just to the women of Guyana, but to their families and loved ones as well.
Our presence here today was made possible because we are all successfully working together – the U.S. government, the Guyanese government, U.S. NGOs, and Guyanese NGOs. I would like to acknowledge Sharir Chan and Dr. Mark Reddi of the Guyana Cancer Society, who were instrumental in establishing the Guyana Cancer Society and organizing this event today. I know that in the past you have worked closely with the US Embassy’s Civil Affairs Team, and I know that a continued partnership will magnify the work of both our organizations.
I must also recognize the Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony who has the patience and willingness to work with a variety of organizations in Guyana to ensure that as many resources and services are provided as possible. Providing quality medical treatment in Guyana presents unique challenges and Dr. Anthony does an excellent job of constantly working to improve healthcare.
I am overjoyed at the positive response for this event, and I look forward to working together to continue in the fight against cancer. Our commitment to public health and local communities is unwavering, and I wish you all involved continued success.