The first lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo is soliciting for the support of private and public health institutions to help provide affordable cancer care to patients.
It is estimated that almost 23, 000 cases of new cancers are recorded annually in Ghana and over 15, 000 die due to lack of care.
Speaking at the forum on “Transforming Cancer Care in Ghana, Providing and Sustaining World Class Standard Care to Our people,” the first lady indicated that the limited access to cancer interventions and its finances in the country is worrying and must be addressed.
“Creating the necessary awareness, may get an individual to know their cancer status, the reality though is that sometimes, they simply cannot afford the treatment, we must begin to think of and treat cancers as we think of and treat diseases like malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. Both the public and private sectors must support our people to have unhindered access to cancer care,” she said.
She also urged private and public health insurance schemes to cover as many cancer cases as possible, in their benefits packages and also finance the training of more healthcare professionals, to acquire the needed skills to manage cancer patients.
Last month, the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service (GHS), in collaboration with Roche Ghana Limited, a Pharmaceutical Company, launched the first National Guideline for Cancer Management in the country.
The National Health Insurance Authority, the private sector and Non-Governmental Organisations were also involved in developing the document, which was led and fully funded by Roche Ghana.
The Document is a follow-up to the National Strategy for Cancer Control in Ghana and provides tools and knowledge for various categories of health practitioners to make decisions regarding cancer patient care at their levels of competence.
The 126-page document was developed by a team of experts including surgeons, oncologists, paediatricians, pharmacists, obstetricians, gynaecologists, nutritionists, haematologists and epidemiologists.
By: Farida Yusif | citinewsroom.com | Ghana