Endo March making strides
On Saturday, March 28, Jamaica joined more than 60 countries in the global campaign Endo March, which saw participants walking to bring the awareness to Endometriosis.
Being one of the top five participating countries in its inaugural staging last year, the local organisers were motivated to keep Jamaica on top in bringing awareness to this disease. Based on the turnout and support, they have declared it a success once again.
Hundreds of participants, decked in yellow, gathered at Devon House on Saturday morning. Led by a marching band and a Zoukie truck, 'endosisters' and supporters which included men and children, walked the streets in support of women and girls who have endometriosis.
The event has been endorsed by the Ministry of Health and is supported by the European Union Delegation. Endo March Ambassadors include (past and present) Molly Rhone, Krystal Tomlinson, Terri-Karelle Reid, David Henriques, Mario Evon, Gina Hargitay, and Juliet Flynn.
At the end of the march, a rally was held at the east lawns of Devon House where various speakers presented on the need for the public to be more aware of Endometriosis, in particular-schools, employers and the government.
In addition to the general goal of raising awareness, Endo March aims to introduce pre screening in schools for teenage girls and to get Endometriosis listed as a chronic disease with the National Health Fund.
The Jamaican leg of Endo March was coordinated through the Shauna Fuller Clarke BASE foundation, which was set up specifically to provide information and support to women who suffer from this disease. The foundation's aim is also to raise awareness among the general public. Endo March was the last event for Endometriosis Awareness Month, which was declared by the Governor General of Jamaica in 2014.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis occurs when tiny particles that are similar to the lining of the uterus, find their way into the pelvic area and other areas of the body. These particles behave similarly to the lining of the uterus (endometrium), which is how this disease got its name.
These stray cells (endometrial implants) break down and bleed, but the blood and tissues shed have no way of leaving the body! This causes internal bleeding, inflammation and pain, infertility, scar tissue formation, adhesions, and bowel problems.
Many women suffer from severe depression as a result of the symptoms experienced and the overall impact of the disease.