The Ministry of Health (MoH), through the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has hinted of an expansion of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) care – including breast cancer- to the primary care level.
Dr. Badu Sarkodie, Public Health Director at the GHS, who announced this in Accra, said government is currently reviewing the National NCDs Strategy, which will include breast cancer care at the lowest level of healthcare.
“The strategy will be firmly rooted in the primary level of our health system, the community-based health planning and services (CHPS) and will extend to all levels of care in our health system, including district, regional and teaching hospitals,” he stated.
He said the objective is to integrate screening service for breast and cervical cancer among other NCDs at the very primary level of health delivery in Ghana as part of routine care.
Dr. Sarkodie observed that prevention pays and primary prevention is the best of options, thus, calling for a change in lifestyle changes, including working towards a healthy weight, limiting alcohol consumption to one drink per day or less, regular exercise and avoiding sedentary lifestyle.
He was speaking at the launch of the Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Accra, which begins a month dedicated to raising awareness about breast cancer.
Dr. Florence Dedey, Head of the Breast Unit, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, mentioned that GLOBOCAN 2018 research on cancer indicates that more than 4,600 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in Ghana this year, with an estimated 1,800 women losing their lives to the disease.
She pointed out that many of the women who get treated for the disease receive it late, which negatively affects the treatment outcomes.
“This trend of missing out on diagnosis and treating breast cancer early when it is most amenable to a cure can be attributed to several factors, including lack of knowledge, over reliance on ineffective alternative therapies inadequate facilities and trained personal and lack of funds,” she opined.
Dr. Dedey, thus, stated that the month-long awareness creation would include public education, teaching self-breast examination, offering clinical breast examination, engaging in breast cancer advocacy and soliciting for funds to help needy patients in order to enhance breast care.
Prof. Clegg-Lamptey, a surgeon at the Breast Unit at KBTH, outlined the month-long activities which include traditional and social media campaign, partnering with over 25 hospitals across the country to organise free and reduced breast screenings and symposia on breast cancer.
Source: Daily Guide