13 November 2012

Ghana: Rawlings, Kufuor Join Hands to Fight Cancer

Former Presidents Jerry John Rawlings and John Agyekum Kufour have come together to fight the deadly cancer disease among Ghanaians.

World Health Organisation estimates that Ghana records about 2,000 new cases of cancer yearly. To alleviate the cancer disease, the two former heads of state came under one roof in Accra to officially launch the Sweden Ghana Cancer Foundation (SGCF), a non-profit organization.

The objective of the foundation is to provide financial support for early treatment to Ghana's cancer patients, who would not be able to afford cost of treatment, and to educate the public on cancer prevention.

In his address to launch the foundation, former President John Agyekum Kufuor, said the foundation would expose and fight the disease, promote good healthy life and protect the lives of cancer patients in the West African country.

He noted that the bold initiative was a course for humanity and that there was no better way to show love for Ghanaian cancer patients than to support the foundation.

Former President Kufuor said the SGCF would bring life and hope to Ghana's cancer patients, especially children, and called for the sustenance of the newly launched foundation.

In his own words: "I am appealing to Ghanaians, cooperate bodies and organizations to support the foundation." The Head of the Department of Surgery at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Professor Joe-Nat Clegg-Lamptey observed that the increasing number of cancer cases, especially breast cancer, in the country was alarming, saying "Government alone can not tackle the disease".

According to him, causative factors for the increase in the prevalence of the disease was lack of knowledge, late detection and diagnosis, delayed in treatment procedures, negative socio-cultural beliefs and lack of funds for treatment.

Prof. Clegg-Lamptey said the National Health Insurance Scheme covered only the basic treatment of breast and cervical cancer, and lauded the SGMC for establishing the foundation.

He therefore called on medical health professionals to continue to educate Ghanaians and extend the coverage of breast cancer management to the rest of the country.

A survivor of breast cancer, and Chief Executive Officer of Reach for Recovery, Mrs Gladys Boateng, said her organization last year, had screened more than 23,000 cancer patients, and was important to support the foundation to save lives.

The founder and chairman of the foundation, Dr. Henry Broni-Amponsah stated that the treatment of cancer was expensive than that of HIV and AIDS and Tuberculosis, saying "No matter how little you contribute, it will save the life of somebody. The Sweden Ghana Medical Center (SGMC) has provided seed capital of GH¢200,000 to start the operations of the foundation."

The boards of trustees members are: Dr. Henry Broni-Amponsah, Board Chairman of SGMC, Mrs. Julia Osei Tutu, Wife of Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, and Mr. Kwasi Nyantakyi, President of the Ghana Football Association.

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