An Open Letter To Minister Of Health



Men’s Health Foundation team on Morning ride on metro TV.

Good morning Mr. Minister of Health and Honorable members of Parliament
There is blight upon our country. It’s called prostate cancer.

Hon. Minister and members of parliament, at Men’s Health Foundation Ghana we urge you to lead us out of this valley of death and despair as 1 in 5 Ghanaian men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime according to Men’s Health Foundation Ghana (2015)

According to statistics in Ghana close to 1,000 men get prostate cancer yearly and close to 800 men died of prostate cancer yearly. That’s three times more than any other cancer. The cancer is hitting hard on men but because men don’t cry they can’t come out that is why the men’s charity is calling on you as men to do something about prostate cancer in this country. Among those hardest hit are poor men who cannot afford the treatment for prostate cancer and even screening for the disease.

There is lot of disparities and in view of this Amansan Television heard the cry of the charity and this fathers day we launched a national prostate cancer awareness and we also called on the president to recognized fathers day as national prostate cancer day to enable awareness and education on this day and we believe our submission through this article to you should also be recognized in the country. We also took the opportunity to unveiled Sokoohema as a prostate cancer ambassador to stage the awareness in the country.

The prostate cancer toll is staggering and prostate cancer and breast cancer are parallel diseases yet prostate cancer is neglected in the country. It is really hitting black men than men of other race! We are appealing to you to enable the charity with any help that is available to start awareness, education and free screening programs in the country. The prostate cancer UK has projected the cancer will be the leading cancer by the year 2030 and we believed it is time the necessary attention is provided.

We are also appealing to the men MPs in parliament and the speaker of parliament to recognized fathers day as national prostate cancer day in Ghana and we are also appealing to them to organized screening programs in their various constituencies to raise awareness on the disease and the men’s charity is ready to partner all the MPS, institutions and individuals to draw a pragmatic measures to help fight the disease.

We also appeal to all to make the Men’s charity your charity to help in our work by donating or providing us with a mobile Van to help provide free screening, education and awareness programs in the country. There are high mortality rates in the country and we need to improve upon it but the fact is that prostate cancer remains a silent killer in the black communities. Any way you look at it, prostate cancer is a national disaster demanding your attention now.

We are calling on you, Hon. Ministers, speaker and all Men MPs in parliament to come together – to look beyond partisanship to our common humanity – and to point the way forward in the fight against this dreadful disease.

There is so much you can do. On the legislative side, I know something can be done! You can devote more cedis to prostate cancer research as breast cancer has receive lot of funding and awareness and we believe something has to de done for prostate cancer. Remember, the prostate gland is our legacy as men and our powerhouse and we need to protect it!

You can advocate for public education and for more attention to screening. And you can take a closer look at the incidence of prostate cancer and dietary habit and advocate for organic foods instead than to concentrate on genetically modified foods. We must empower our farmers and motivate them to grow natural foods instead.

We must look at cutting down our risk of getting prostate cancer and more research is now focusing on our dietary habits and I appeal to the parliamentary committee on agric to focus on advocating for pure organic grown foods instead! Our prostate gland is vulnerable to toxins as it sits between two organs of elimination, the rectum and the bladder so been toxins this surrounding organs the prostate gland is vulnerable in absorbing this toxins.

It’s the least we can do in defence of those who defend us and that are our honourable MPs and minister of Health. First and foremost, you can drag this killer out from the shadows and declare prostate cancer a national health crisis.

On a personal level, there is this: For the sake of the nation and of your families, stand up and take a public pledge not promote natural foods that is organically grown foods in the country.

Teach us – our children in particular – that eating natural foods is the key to good health and synthetic foods are unhealthy. There is no smoke without fire and there is nothing that is safe even natural medicines also has side effect.

Acknowledge that it is hard to stop but worth the effort to promote natural foods in the country so that we leave long like the hunzas, Okinawas and the men in the Asian territory.

Most importantly, move us past this sorry game of blame-the-victim and help expose the insidious and unspoken notion that because most people who get prostate cancer isn’t as a result of the aging population. The young adult prostate gland is not free from prostate cancer. We deserve better as men! You see we must educate Ghanaians on good dietary habit and formulate policies on bad food coming into the countries. Prostate diseases are not as the fact that your men are aging but it is as results of the bad food choices and lifestyle choices.

You see Honourable members reading this letter, Poor prostate health results from accumulating toxins from our modern devitalized non-food products (e.g., chips, commercial dairy and meat, and instant foods). Time and repetition of poor food choices takes its toll. Certain! That’s why we have an epidemic of prostate disease in the black communities.

We have, by design and negligence, allowed our food and environment to become so toxic that disease is the body’s healthy response to the onslaught!
Disease happens when the body tries to protect itself from further damage by concentrating toxins and pollutants and other excesses in a less vital organ or area of the body so that the body can still carry on.

Honorable members, the western or modern lifestyle is a major cause of prostate cancer, and lifestyle factor most likely responsible is diet, “says Dr. Bill Nelson, an oncologist with Brady Urological Institute at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore. “ The western diet has long been thought to be too rich in animal fats and meats and too poor in fruits and vegetables”.

You see, but we have crippled our farms with chemicals and our bodies are struggling to fight it. Nelson, pioneer in the study of diet as preventive medicine, was the first researcher to realize that an enzyme called glutathione-S transferase p is accountable for defending the body against prostate cancer. “When a man develops prostate cancer, it is the result of potentially toxic agents overtaking and destroying this helpful enzyme, “explains. The result is that prostate cells become vulnerable to cancer because they no longer have adequate protection. “Without the cancer-fighting enzyme, the cells are less able to detoxify the carcinogens.”

You see Honourable members, we all have cancer cells in our bodies and the hard truth is that every cell has the ability to cancer, and a variety of factors can prompt a cell to do so. And while most oncologists (and even leading cancer associations) consider cancer a genetic disease, I realized that this is not entirely true.

From my research cancer isn’t a disease of the genes, rather it’s a disease where cells evolve to look and behave a certain way, using gene alterations to achieve that. You see, when we find a way to repair one gene alteration; cancer finds an alternative route quite quickly.

Cancer, therefore, occurs when genes within a cell lose their ability to regulate that cell’s growth. These disobedient cells don’t know how to stop multiplying or die. But all cells have the potential to lose this ability, meaning any cell can cancer at any time depending on the environment it finds itself!

But while one-size-fits-all “magic bullet” pharmaceuticals have found ways to cure diseases caused by invader stimuli: the answer to a disease caused by our own wayward cells may require a very different approach. If the problem is within our system, the solution can only come from understanding how our own body works-black men!

I know probably you will be wondering and asking if cancer is unavoidable? No. The choice to die without disease is ours to make, right now. So increasing awareness and education trying to let men live their entire life cancer-free seems like a pretty formidable goal as we can embark on because of my research work and the most significant factor is our dietary habit!

Hon. Minister you have a rare and powerful opportunity. Over the next five years, more than thousands Ghanaian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. You can help save many of them. Do something and act now for men on awareness, education and screening programs using the charities.

Thank you minister and honourable members and May every one be happy and may there never be a disharmony anywhere and may our prostate be healthy!

Dr. Raphael Nyarkotey Obu is a registered alternative medical practitioner who specializes in Prostate cancer and studied the Masters program in prostate cancer –Sheffield Hallam University, UK and a PhD(A.M) candidate in prostate cancer, Indian Board of Alternative Medicines Academy, Kolkata, India and the founder of Men’s Health Foundation Ghana and De Men’s clinic and Prostate Research Lab in Dodowa, Akoto House. Tel: 0541090045, 0500106570.

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