Health News of 2014-07-25

Ghana to implement cancer control national strategy

Ghana is to start the implementation of a five-year cancer control national strategy programme, Mrs. Lordina Dramani Mahama, has said at the eighth ‘Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa’ Conference and exhibition ongoing at Windhoek, Namibia.

She said this when she shared Ghana's progress story and challenges in its efforts to ensure universal access to cervical cancer prevention with her colleague African First Ladies and participants.

A statement from the Flagstaff House and copied to the GNA on Wednesday, stated that the strategy would roll out various interventions that would help manage and control breast and cervical cancers as well as other cancers in the country. It said for the past eight years, the fight against cancers, especially those of Cervical, Breast and Prostate in Africa, had intensified.

“Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women, worldwide, with an annual incidence of almost 500,000 new cases and 275,000 deaths. About 85% of the women who die from cervical cancer live in developing countries, due to inadequate resources, infrastructure, and denied access to early diagnosis, treatment and palliative care”, it said.

The statement said over the years First Ladies had hosted the conference in their countries with the first call being made in Abuja, Nigeria, in 2007, when a Nigerian cancer advocate, Princess Nikky Onyeri, initiated the Forum of African First Ladies against Breast, Cervical and prostate Cancer, and convened the first Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa, SCCA Conference in July, with 15 African First Ladies.

“They have also been working to bring on board both regional and international attention to cancer and its burden on Africa, and push for the integration of the treatment of non-communicable diseases, especially cancers into their respective primary healthcare systems”, it said.

The statement said Mrs Mahama said during a presentation that there was an on-going government negotiation with GAVI to increase the HPV vaccine support period to 10 years and clinical breast examination screening at various health facilities and family planning centres in the country.

Apart from these, she would support other interventions that would be rolled out under a five-year National Strategy for Cancer Control with her campaign on breast and cervical cancers and HIV and AIDs, which the Lordina Foundation is already implementing in some regions in the country, to ensure that universal access to prevention and treatment of cancers were made available” it noted.

Mrs.Mahama urged African governments to join hands with the First Ladies so that together, they would demonstrate a shared responsibility in making the health of women, especially in Africa, a priority.

The conference hosted by the First Lady of Namibia is a campaign focusing on the “Move Forward To End Cervical Cancer by 2030” and has brought First Ladies from various African countries together to share their stories about interventions they have made in a bid to achieve the forum's basic objective.

The statement said all the First Ladies noted that though some successes had been chalked in the awareness creation about breast, cervical and prostate cancers, lack of adequate resources, infrastructure, and lack of access to early diagnosis, treatment and palliative care still remain a challenge in many African countries.

Source: GNA
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