RIVM Centre for Population Screening continues screening for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer

From the end of 2025, population screenings for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer will also be offered on Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba. Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport Kuipers writes this to the Second Chamber:

Since 2021, the RIVM Centre for Population Screening has been working with a local implementation team and chain partners in the Caribbean Netherlands towards a tailor-made range of population screenings for breast, cervical, and colon cancer. The aim is to offer programs of as much equivalent quality as possible compared to the European Netherlands, which are also appropriate in the local context. The aim is that by the end of 2025, all three cancer screening programs will be offered in the Caribbean Netherlands.

For the introduction of the three population screenings, a local team has been set up that organizes and carries out the three population screenings together with the care partners in the region. The breast cancer screening pilot is now running on all three islands. On Bonaire, the first two-year cycle will be completed at the end of May 2023. Between May 2021 and May 2023, more than 1,300 of the estimated 3,700 women between the ages of 50 and 75 who belong to the target group participated. Also in the spring of 2023, the first monitor was released for the breast cancer screening program on Bonaire for the period May 2021/22/23. The breast cancer screening started in April 2023 on Saba and in July 2023 on St. Eustatius. Participants will go to Sint Maarten, where the nearest mammograph is currently located.

The cervical cancer screening is also ongoing on all three islands. The pilot started on Saba in February 2022, on St. Eustatius in June 2022, and on Bonaire in November 2022. The first monitor for cervical cancer screening will be released in early 2024.

Preparations for the bowel cancer screening program are currently in full swing. It was deliberately decided to implement this population screening last because it is more complex in terms of care content in the Caribbean context than the other two population screenings. The first pilot is expected to start in the second half of 2024.

In March 2023, the provision of breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer in the public entities of Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba was included in Article 16a of the Public Health Decree. This legal basis enables the accountability of structural financial resources and the systematic provision of personal data from PIVA-V24 so that potential participants can be invited.

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