| Mar 31, 2023

NHF underscores support for women with endometriosis

/ Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Everton Anderson, CEO of the National Health Fund. (Photo: Our Today)

Today (March 31) marks the end of Endometriosis Awareness Month. Throughout the month several campaigns were launched to help provide information and tips on the condition, to further spread awareness about endometriosis.

In observance of Endometriosis Awareness Month, the National Health Fund (NHF) is underscoring its support for patients with endometriosis.

According to Dr Chris-Ann Simpson Harley, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist speaking in an NHF Twitter Space on Monday (March 27), endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to that lining the uterus that sheds on a monthly basis as menstruation, grows outside of the uterus causing severe pain.

Dr Chris-Ann Simpson Harley, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist

The incurable condition affects one in ten women globally, over 100,000 women locally and can be costly to manage.

While endometriosis is not currently covered by the NHF, provision has been made to assist women who suffer from the condition to access more affordable health care.

“Access to health care is a major priority of the NHF. While endometriosis isn’t one of the 17 conditions covered by the NHFCard Programme, provision has been made for non-cardholders receiving private treatment to fill their prescriptions for Goserelin and Leuprolide injection at eleven NHF-managed Drug Serv pharmacies island wide so that they too can have access to more affordable healthcare,” CEO at the NHF, Everton Anderson said.

The locations that are available to access these products/ services are.

1.      Drug Serv Mandeville Regional Hospital

2.      Drug Serv Santa Cruz Health Centre

3.      Drug Serv May Pen Hospital

4.      Drug Serv Black River Hospital

5.      Drug Serv Princess Margaret Hospital

6.      Drug Serv Greater Portmore

7.      Drug Serv Union Square

8.      Drug Serv Glen Vincent

9.      Drug Serv Savanna-la-Mar Hospital

10.    Drug Serv Cornwall Regional Hospital

11.    Drug Serv St Ann Bay Hospital

Endometriosis frequently presents with several symptoms. However, painful periods is the most common symptom associated with the condition. According to Dr Harley, not every woman living with endometriosis presents in that way.

“I had a patient who came in because she was having shortness of breath and sticking pains in her side. Upon examination we found that she was bleeding in her abdomen and this was caused by the growth of endometrial tissue in the area.”

Studies have shown that endometrium-type tissue can grow in several areas outside of the uterus including the lungs, the stomach, the bowel, bladder and other areas of the body.

Women and girls are encouraged to get checked annually. Early detection is key.

“Private patients receiving treatment for endometriosis and other conditions such as cancers, HIV, kidney disease, and mental illnesses may also fill select prescription items at a lower cost at any of the named Drug Serv pharmacies.”

The NHF currently manages 106 Drug Serv locations in all 14 parishes.


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