General News of 2014-06-09

Ghana loses 1,500 women to cervical cancer yearly – First Lady

First Lady, Madam Lordina Mahama has revealed that a total of about 1,500 women die from cervical cancer each year in the country.

Cervical cancer occurs when the cells at the opening of the womb grows abnormally.

One of the most common symptoms of cervical cancer is abnormal vaginal bleeding but in some cases there may be no obvious symptoms until the cancer has progressed to an advanced stage.

Cervical cancer often affects women at the end of their reproductive years, that is, from 40- 50 years. It can however, also affect adolescent girls.

The causes of cervical cancer include early initiation into sexual activities, and unprotected sex with multiple partners among others.

Research shows that there are approximately 500,000 cervical cancer cases per year, resulting in around 275,000 deaths worldwide.

Of these, 80% occur in developing countries and 25% in Africa.

Hospital data from 1980’s to 1990’s also indicates that 21-28% of all female cancer patients in the Greater Accra region suffered from cervical cancer.

Speaking at a parliamentary reception at the House of Lords held by Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) and the Forum for African First Ladies against breast and cervical cancer, in the UK, Mrs. Mahama said all African first ladies must do all they can to address the issue of cervical cancer.

According to her, the disease is a great challenge to the health of women in Ghana like many other African countries.

The First Lady noted that most women affected by the disease are either not able to get medical treatment or seek medical care too late.

“I have seen women suffering terminally from this disease, their fate stood by the terrible disease,” the First Lady added.

She therefore suggested that vaccines be used as an effective tool to prevent the spread of the disease, adding that “GAVI’s support to immunize girls in Ghana will help them grow into healthy women.”

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