Public Agenda (Accra)

Africa: BCI and IBCN Collaborate to Fight Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Prevention in Africa has taken another dimension with the launch of the International Breast Cancer and Nutrition (IBCN) project, a multinational initiative that seeks to establish the link between diet and breast cancer in Africa.

The Breast Care International (BCI) Ghana, a Non Governmental Organization (NGO), and the Peace and Love Hospitals are spearheading the project, to outline ways to advance a partnership on Breast Cancer research and awareness.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer, who are championing the project with other collaborators, are focusing their efforts in the USA, Ghana, France, Japan, Uruguay and Lebanon.

The initiative, launched at a four-day conference recently in Kumasi, has put in place dedicated researchers and scientists to study breast cancer rates, dietary patterns and cultural contexts in beneficiary countries of the project.

The conference was attended by experts in nutrition, basic medical science statistics, cancer epidernologists, communication experts, public policy analysts, economists, health lawyers, anthropologists and Medical doctors.

Speaking at the launch, the President of BCI and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Peace and Love Hospitals, Dr (Mrs) Beatrice Wiafe Addai, said that the Ghanaian project would take care of the African continent. She called for total support from everyone to ensure that IBCN would succeed.

Dr. Wiafe Addai, who is also the Vice-President of the African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer Council for West Africa (AORTIC), is the lead researcher of the Ghanaian research team on the IBCN project.

On her part, Prof. Sophie A. Lelievre, who led a three-man team from the Purdue University, said they wanted to lay a firm foundation in Africa with Ghana as the center.

She noted that, the strides Ghana was making in the fight against breast cancer with Dr. Wiafe Addai as a pillar of reference gave them hope that the project would succeed.

Prof. Lelievre is an Associate Professor of Basic Sciences in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Associate Director of Discovery Groups for the Purdue Centre for Cancer Research.

The Mayor of Kumasi, Mr. Samuel Sarpong, who launched the project, called on all stakeholders to intensify education on disease since awareness creation was crucial in such an initiative.

He commended the BCI and Peace and Love Hospitals for the laudable roles they were playing in the fight against breast cancer in the country.

In attendance for the conference were Prof. Ellen Gruenbaum and Prof. Connie Weaver, both researchers from Purdue Global Policy Research Institute.

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