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Andrea on a mission to raise $2 million for colposcope machine

Published:Saturday | September 27, 2014 | 9:00 AM
Andrea Drysdale-Rose on a mission to provide equipment for the Princess Margaret Hospital, St Thomas. - Contributed

Deon Green, Gleaner Writer

HARROW, London:

ANDREA DRYSDALE-ROSE of Sunning Hill, St Thomas is on a drive to raise at least US$18,000 ($2 million) to provide a colposcope machine for the Princess Margaret Hospital in the parish of her birth.

The equipment will assist in detecting early signs of cervical cancer, with an aim of reducing deaths among women in the parish.

The Friends of the Princess Margaret Hospital, a UK-based charity, was co-founded in 1992. Through the charity, Drysdale-Rose has provided an electronic surgical table with full body imaging. The equipment cost US$25,000 ($2.8 million)

Only last month, Drysdale-Rose had been busy organising the charity's 22nd annual anniversary dinner and dance in order to raise more funds to purchase the machine. The unit has a built-in VCR and other equipment, enabling the transmission of information electronically rather than manually. "It is more than a scanner for the detection of cervical cancer in the early stages that will save the lives of many women in St Thomas," Drysdale-Rose told Rural Xpress from Harrow, North West London, earlier this week.

"We have got about £4,550 ($94,000), not counting the event on the weekend, as we are still calculating the figures. We expect the machine to be delivered to the hospital next spring; GraceKennedy and Company UK, and other entities that were at our anniversary dinner and dance have indicated their interest in assisting us in securing the machine. We have a long list of things that we intend to donate to Princess Margaret Hospital, but I can't take on any more big things as I am not too well. I have to hand over this machine before I leave this world," she chuckled.

With determination, along with her cousin Monica Coke, Drysdale-Rose extended the generosity to other facilities in the parish, including Chain of Hope and the Morant Bay Infirmary. Drysdale-Rose, 'head cook and bottle washer' of the charity, told Rural Xpress that she is backed up by others, including Monica Coke who is vice-chair. Glenora Coke, Olivia Gayle, Jean Kirby, Glenora Thomas, Junior McLeod and Andrew Reid are all part of her executive body.

SUCCESSFUL DANCE IN '91

"We had a dance in May 1991, which was successful for us; then Monica's step-mother got sick in Portland and went to Princess Margaret Hospital for an operation. There was some difficulty as the lift was broken. We decided to help with a £250 donation, but the Ministry of Health purchased one. It was then that we requested a list of the things they need so we could help. That's how our charity started," Drysdale-Rose told Rural Xpress.

Last Saturday, the charity hosted its 22nd annual anniversary dinner and dance at St Andrew's Church Hall in Harrow. A letter from the South Eastern Regional Health Authority under the signature of Senior Medical Officer Dr Cecil Batchelor in part stated, "I can record without fear of contradiction that the Friends of Princess Margaret Hospital (UK) has over the years been our most consistent friend group, whether local or foreign. Kindly be reminded that the state-of-the-art operating theatre that you provided some years ago is still working and is in excellent condition. It is the pride and joy of the operating theatre with it motorised movements and sturdy electronics. We look forward to the colposcope that you are assiduously working towards, and which will go a far way in decreasing female deaths in St Thomas from cervical cancer."

The charity is accessible at www.friendsofpmhosp.com or phone 020 7912 9260.

rural@gleanerjm.com