–Dr Beatrice Wiafe
The Global Ambassador of Breast Cancer and the Founder and President of Breast Care International (BCI), Ghana, an NGO, Dr(Mrs) Beatrice Wiafe Addai, has disclosed that 5 million people of the 24 million population of Ghana, mainly women, are at risk of breast cancer.
“A prevalence rate of one woman in 10 for the country extrapolates of about 420,000 people who may develop the disease in their life time” She observed.
Dr Beatrice Wiafe who is also a Council Member of African Organization for Research and Treatment In Cancer (AORTIC) made the disclosure during education and free breast screening programme for the women at Adansi Fomena in the Adansi-North District of Ashanti, at the annual celebration of Bona Festival.
She said the breast cancer disease and its attendant’s fatalities demanded concerted efforts by individuals, organizations and government to aid early detection and treatment.
She, therefore, called for stronger partnerships and collaboration to create the expected awareness on breast and other cancers in the country.
A renowned General Surgeon and Consultant Breast Surgeon, is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Peace and Love Hospitals in Accra and Kumasi, said whilst the fight against communicable diseases like HIV, Tuberculosis, Malaria among others were receiving substantial financial push by government and other organizations, the same could not be said of the cancers.
According to Dr. Wiafe, the disease was not painful at early stages and that reporting for treatment early and regular self-examination were ways for women to know their status and proceed with Mammogram.
Dr. Beatrice Wiafe Addai, a Chair of the BCI Ghana Walk for the Cure, noted that although the treatment was expensive, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) bore part of the cost of treatment and therefore, urged all women to register with the scheme to save lives.
She challenged Ghanaian women to disabuse their minds of the misconception that the disease had spiritual connections or was associated with evil spirits, and advised them to report early to the hospital.
She commended the organizers of the festival for the bold step it has taken to create awareness of the disease.
Dr. Wiafe latter donated 200 packs of Breast sense kits to the Queen Mother and people of Adansi Fomena to be distributed to the women present.
The Breast sense kits are special gloves that is made to increase the touch sensitivity of women during their Breast Self Examination (BSE).
The Queen Mother, Nana Amoanimaa Dede II, showed her appreciation to Dr Wiafe and her team for the education and the kits presented to them.
All the 450 women present were clinically screened for breast cancer after the education.
The screening revealed some very alarming cases of breast cancer and other related cancers among the women.