February 13, 2009
SVGNA hosts Women’s Health Week

by Omesha Spence 13.FEB.09

“They have the information but they are not using it.” This is the conclusion of President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Nursing Association on the health problems women face today.{{more}}

Delivering the opening remarks at the SVGNA’s Women’s Health Week on Wednesday, February 11, Raphael John said that the problem is not the unavailability of information, but the fact that it is not practiced. “It is not so much about giving information anymore,” he said.

John related that most women know about information regarding safe sex practices and disease prevention such as diabetes and hypertension but they do not put their knowledge of these subjects to use: “It’s all about practical knowledge,” He stressed. This lack of practical knowledge he says contributes to an increase in cases of HIV/AIDS, hypertension and diabetes among women.

John further stated that the health of women in society is very important, as women are responsible for creating families and shaping communities, among many other things.

“It is a pure truth that healthy women equals a healthy society,” he said.

The women’s Health Week, Health Symposium and Opening Ceremony held at the Peace Memorial Hall also featured presentations by doctors, nurses, and Debra Dalyrymple, Director of Marion House, who presented on the impact of violence on women.

Dalyrymple related that women in abusive relationships have suffered long-term damage such as colon damage and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Dalyrymple also mentioned that some women suffered small strokes because of strangulation attempts and have lasting emotional problems, which are more common in abused victims than in women who have never been abused.

Presentations were also made by Dr. Peter Kagbala General Surgeon at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital and Dr. Amrie Morris Patterson. Caregivers and students of the Division of Nursing of the SVG Community College and the Thomas Saunders Secondary School attended the symposium.

The Women’s Health week runs from the Wednesday, February 11 to Sunday, February 15, under the theme “Healthy Women, Healthy Societies.”