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Government of Jamaica

NHF Emphasizes support for Endo Warriors

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

According to Dr Chris-Ann Simpson Harley, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist speaking in an NHF Twitter Spaces 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.

The incurable condition affects one in 10 women globally, over 100,000 women locally and is costly to manage.

“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,” Chief Executive Officer – NHF, Everton Anderson.

The locations 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 

Painful periods is the most common symptom of endometriosis. Nonetheless, Dr Harley shared that not every woman living with the condition 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.”

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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