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27-05-2024 11:35

Address by the Deputy Minister of Shipping, Ms Marina Hadjimanolis, at the 2024 General Assembly of Europa Uomo

24 May 2024, Italy

It is with great pleasure that I am here with you today, on behalf of the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Nikos Christodoulides, at the 2024 General Assembly of Europa Uomo, especially to celebrate together the 20th anniversary of the foundation of Europa Uomo.

Prostate cancer is the most common oncological disease in male population. We all know that there was a time that nobody knew what it meant or really cared about it.

Our Government is working closely with Europa Uomo Cyprus on prevention, on public awareness issues and on issues related to the quality of life of prostate cancer patients. We also try to help, in any way we can, the families of the patients so that they are able to support their loved ones.

We have recently included prostate specific antigent (PSA) screening in the population control programs in Cyprus. In this way, we are promoting early detection and raising awareness, with higher chances for a better and early treatment, thus for a better quality of life.

In Cyprus, as in the rest of the world, the number of new patients with prostate cancer is increasing every year. The awareness of men and the right to early diagnosis is an individual right for all.

Europa Uomo Cyprus is a cause very close to the President's heart and he was very pleased that last year’s 2023 Europa Uomo Annual General Meeting was hosted in Cyprus, where we both participated.

Today is a day of significant importance for me. I am not here today only as a representative of the Cyprus Government but also as honourary member of Europa Uomo Cyprus, the only chosen female member by the Board of Directors back in 2021, and I once more express my gratitude for their decision. I am glad that another female, Mrs Tania Estape, is a member of the Europa Uomo board.

In recent years, through collective work, and despite the adversities and the challenges faced, we have managed through actions to highlight prevention, early diagnosis and partly break the taboos regarding prostate cancer. We feel very proud that Europa Uomo Cyprus has succeeded, through their passion and determination, to have a significant impact on today’s society. It is of crucial importance to demolish the stereotypes surrounded by prostate cancer and prevent late diagnosis, which sadly can be fatal.

Most importantly, we believe that through the exchange of best practices between ourselves, we can manage collectively to achieve results that can really make the difference that we all want.

In this effort, we have collaborated with companies and many organisations in Cyprus. From October 2021, we organise the Blue Cycling Route in Lemesos (Limassol), under the auspices and the participation of our President and diplomats of embassies in Cyprus, in which more than 1000 cyclists take part. In addition, in November, the month of prevention and awareness of prostate cancer, we carry out informative actions in organisations, public institutions and companies. Also, in cooperation with the cycling group KMeaters, we carry out a three-day cycling tour across Cyprus every year, conveying the message of prevention and early diagnosis of prostate cancer in every city and village of Cyprus.

But our main target is the education of the new generation of boys and girls. We are campaigning at schools, and offer the opportunity to students to learn through classwork about prostate cancer and the importance of awareness. We urge them to speak without fear about cancer and pass their knowledge to their father, brother and male relatives about the importance of the PSA test.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We, women have a deep understanding of protection for all those we love. We also have the habit to mumble if we set a target. For this cause, we urge the women to do it non-stop, in any opportunity they have. We also have the experiences of Pap Test and mammography test. And, believe me, if we succeed to pass to our sons the same knowledge and obligation that we pass to our daughters about the above tests, then I am positive that in a few years we will make the difference we all want.

Let us all together, irrespective of gender and age, join forces and continue working collectively, tirelessly and with passion to raise awareness and educate the world about this important cause.

Thank you.