Know>Fix>Live>WIN! Pap Test Screening Initiative successfully targets over 300 women


Over 300 women signed up to participate in the Celebrating Life: Know>Fix>Live>WIN! free pap smear initiative titled CERVICAL CANCER, THAT’S ENOUGH.

The primary objective of the campaign, which was financially supported through a partnership with Unite BVI, was to promote cervical cancer awareness, prevention, and early detection. It was also an opportunity to assist women with ruling out the threats of any abnormal conditions they may be experiencing to address matters early.  

Inspired by Mrs. British Virgin Islands 2022/2023 Dr. Arliene T. Penn’s personal experience as a cervical cancer thrivor, the campaign sought to encourage women to prioritise their health and undergo regular screenings.

The ultimate goal was to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer-related deaths in the community and to bring much-needed awareness to women’s health and the importance of prevention of disease through early detection.

“I thank God for preserving my life so that I can be a living testimony of His goodness. Now, I am using my experience to spread the ‘Good News’ that we do not have to die prematurely from what can be prevented or treated,” said Dr. Penn who is also an Ordained Minister.

“I truly appreciate that women are coming forward and they continue to take advantage of this opportunity to KNOW what is happening to their bodies so they can FIX what is happening to LIVE a beautiful, fearless, wonderful, thriving quality of life where we all WIN!,” Dr. Penn said.

The free screening was extended to women between the ages 18-29 who were sexually active and never had a pap test and ages 18-65 who were sexually active and had no pap test in 3 years.

According to Mrs. BVI 2022/2023, during the signup process, it was recognised that there were women who were over 29, sexually active, and never had a pap test; some women had an abnormal pap test reading the previous year; there were women over 65 who wanted to have pap tests; some who did not have NHI due to unemployment or other reasons.

“I am grateful to the many men who called and registered their loved ones. I was also pleased to support those women doing pap smears for the first time as I accompanied them to the visit to help build their courage and show that we are all in this together.”

“I am also pleased that we considered religious and cultural concerns to ensure women were supported with preferences.”

This initiative was supported through the collaborative effort of medical facilities, namely B&F Medical Complex, Eureka Medical Center, PicSmith Medical Center, and the Wellness Center Clinics who all provided free consultation with the scheduled visits.

According to the Director of Women In Need BVI (WINBVI), Mrs. Alicia Green, “We are so pleased that Unite BVI sees the importance of Mrs. BVI 2022/2023 campaign and message that Early Detection Save Lives and partnered with us on this important life-changing initiative.”

Director Green said, “Know>Fix>Live>WIN! is not just about awareness; it is about creating the opportunities that allow women to actively take steps to take care of themselves. It is one thing to tell people what to do—this is about inspiring them, but Dr. Penn wanted to take it a step further and get women to actively take action. This is the third time she has done a free Pap smear screening, which started in 2022. In 2022, over 150 women participated and in 2023, over 200 women participated. We still have a lot more work to do.”

The Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the leading causes of cervical cancer. WINBVI thanks the BVI Health Services Authority for doing its part to educate the public, both men and women, about its dangers and doing their part by making the vaccines that prevent HPV available for males and females.

“Dr. Penn now continues to visit workplaces, ladies’ and men’s groups, and schools to share information about HPV, Hysterectomy Talk, Cervical Cancer Awareness, and reproductive health. Additionally, her Know>Fix>Live>WIN! campaign also focuses on many elements of teaching people about the importance of SELF-LOVE. She uses every opportunity to share her songs ‘Reclaiming Me,’ which is still a reigning WIN Foundation Song of the Year, and ‘Self Love.’ Both songs are products of Know>Fix>Live>WIN!

The 2023 global winner of the Voice of WIN will also continue to assist the Chairman of the 36th OECS/PPS Policy Board Meeting and the 9th OECS Council of Ministers, Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley, with getting the message throughout the region to lower cervical cancer numbers. According to the Pan American Health Organisation, Cervical Cancer claims lives and is the leading cause of death in more than 35,000 women in the Americas. The majority, 80 percent or 28,000, of these cases are in Latin America and the Caribbean.

According to Dr. Penn, “No woman should die from what is preventable and treatable. I am happy that OECS leaders continue to agree that we must do something now to eradicate cervical cancer across the region, for yes, indeed, it is a problem!”

Special thanks also to the BVI Cancer Society and Girl Up for supporting Know>Fix>Live>WIN! along with Dawlin Designs and Cre8tive Arts.

“Unite BVI is thrilled to announce a valued partnership with Women in Need and Dr. Penn to address the critical issue of cervical cancer in our community. Together, we will work to raise awareness, increase screening rates, and provide support to women facing this disease. This collaboration is a powerful example of the impact we can achieve when we work together.”

The public is asked to look out for the campaign in 2025, where registration will be in December 2024 and January 2025, with an appointment to be scheduled in February 2025.

Women In Need BVI (WINBVI) is dedicated to empowering women and promoting holistic well-being. Our recent Pap smear Campaign aimed to raise awareness about cervical cancer prevention and provide free screenings to women in the British Virgin Islands.