Low level of cancer awareness in Ghana has led to its late and inappropriate treatment, the first lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has said.
For instance, the diagnosis of breast and cervical cancers she said, is free yet many of Ghanaian women are not aware.
Mrs Akufo-Addo stated that a critical number of patients seek hospital care when the diseases are advanced compromising their chances at a positive outcome
To this effect, she called for collaboration between government and private entities to improve cancer care by making available the necessary infrastructure and information which would go a long way to reduce numbers of people afflicted by all kinds of cancers in the country.
She charged all stakeholders to pay equal attention to cancer as they do to other diseases like Malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS and also support patients who have hindered access to proper care.
She also urged private and public health insurance schemes to cover as many cancers as possible, in their benefits packages and also finance the training of more healthcare professionals, to acquire the needed skills to manage cancer patients.
“Cancer is killing our young and old alike and it’s time we confronted it boldly. Creating the necessary awareness may get an individual to know their cancer status. Though the reality 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. Payers and by this I mean both private and public health insurance, must cover as many cancers as possible and finance the training of more healthcare practitioners to handle the disease”, She established.