The Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has presented a cervical cancer screening machine to the Battor Catholic Hospital here in the Volta Region.
The AmpFire HPV Detection system manufactured by US based Atila Biosystems Incorporated, will be used by the Cervical Cancer Prevention and Training Centre in Battor for screening women to detect and treat precancerous lesions of the cervix, so that they do not develop into cervical cancer.
The state-of-the-art equipment was purchased at the cost of $16,000 by Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa in response to an appeal made to him by the hospital about two months ago.
"I wish to thank Dr Kofi Effah, Head of the Cervical Cancer Prevention and Training Centre at the Battor Catholic Hospital for discovering this equipment and bringing it to my attention, and which I was happy to fully sponsor once I was convinced it will make an impact and save lives," he stated.
Okudzeto Ablakwa was also grateful to Dr Youxiang Wang, President and Chief Executive Officer of Atila Biosystems for travelling to Battor all the way from California to personally train the hospital staff on how to use the equipment, saying, "I look forward to a positive impact in the health of my dear constituents."
Dr Effah on his part, said the gesture by Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa would revolutionise cervical cancer prevention in the country, adding that "Women can take samples themselves at home and have the samples (brushes) sent to the laboratory to be tested, those who test negative will not need to visit a health facility and will need screening after five years.
"Only women who test positive need to go to a health facility for follow up and possible treatment of precancerous lesions of the cervix if these are found, the equipment can run up to 500 tests a day by a single laboratory technician, giving results in an hour," he noted.
Dr Effah thanked Okudzeto Ablakwa on behalf of the hospital management for his exemplary leadership and his continuous interest in the progress of the Battor Catholic Hospital.
"In Ghana, cervical cancer is ranked as the second most common cancer among women, current estimates indicate that every year, 3,052 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, out of which 1,556 die from the disease," he bemoaned.