The principal of Abbey Vocational School, Donegal Town is sending out a massive thank you to Solis Cancer Support Services for stepping into the breach and helping out the school recently.
Principal Emannuel McCormack explains. “In November 2008, the Health Minister, Mary Harney cancelled a National Cervical Cancer vaccination program for first year girls in second level schools. The plans were shelved on budgetary grounds with the scheme estimated to cost in the region of €16 million. Just over a year later, the Minister reversed her earlier decision on the basis that the cost of the scheme had now been substantially reduced to €3 million.
“Some time between these two announcements, I was approached by Sean O’Donnell from Solis Cancer Support Services in Donegal town. He was trying to establish the precise number of females in our school and he told me that he would like to try to secure funding to provide the vaccine for the first and second year girls at our school.
“When the Minister reversed her decision, Sean had already secured the funding and again came to me to say that with the younger girls now set to be vaccinated by the state program, he would like to see the secured funding used to vaccinate the third, fourth and fifth year female students at Abbey Vocational School.
“In February and May of this year, a medical company, Point of Care, visited our school and vaccinated over 150 female students. With the cost of the program in the region of €300 per pupil, the substantial costs of this vaccination program were covered fully by the local group and almost all our students have now received two of the three vaccinations of the program with the last vaccination due in September.
“As principal of the school, I would like to thank Mr. O’Donnell and Solis Cancer Support Services for what they have done. They have shown remarkable vision, care and kindness. I have no doubt that they have helped to prolong the life of Abbey Vocational School Students.
“Sean O’Donnell and the other members of Solis Cancer Support Services are truly deserving of recognition for their wonderful work.”