The World Health Organization (WHO) and International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), has assured Breast Care International (BCI) Ghana, of a greater collaboration to advance cancer prevention and control in Ghana.
Dr. Maimuna Mendy, head of the Laboratory Services and Biobank Group of WHO/IARC, and a specialist in Laboratory and Biological Resource Management of Infectious Diseases, including hepatitis and liver cancer research, was speaking during an interaction with management and staff of BCI, Peace and Love Hospital and Peace and Love Survivors Association (PALSA) at Oduom in Kumasi.
Dr. Mendy, who is also a Council Member and Vice- President of the African Organization for Research and Training In Cancer (AORTIC) for Europe, expressed total satisfaction with the joint effort of BCI and its sister health facility Peace and Love Hospitals in helping to address the breast cancer situation in the country.
The WHO/IARC medical delegate, emphasized the for collaboration with BCI/Peace and Love Hospitals, adding” BCI has taken the step in the right direction towards Biobank establishment”.
Dr. Maimuna Mendy explained the importance of biobanks in Research, the goals of IARC, organization of samples, biobank gorvernance, and role of biomarker studies in cancer research.
She also discussed the barriers and challenges of biobanking in developing countries.
Dr. Mendy, was full of praises for laboratory staff of Peace and Love Hospital, BCI team, including Professor Seth Wiafe, a USA based Ghanaian lecturer and research scientist and PALSA, describing them as “heroes for bracing all odds to serve as role models by joining in the efforts to address the challenges facing medical practitioners in their efforts to control breast cancer.
Dr. Wendy, earlier had a tour of the facilities at the Peace and Love Hospital, including Peace and Love Hospital/National Cancer Institute (NCI) research office, the Laboratory Department where she visited the Biochemistry, Microbiology, Histopathology, Blood Bank and the Donor Clinic.
On her part, the Founder and President of BCI, Ghana, a leading breast cancer research, education, screening, diagnoses, treatment and rehabilitation non- governmental organization (NGO) and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Peace and Love Hospitals in Accra and Kumasi Dr. (Mrs.) Beatrice Wiafe Addai welcoming the delegate, gave an overview of the breast cancer situation in the country and efforts of her two organizational to address the burden.
Dr. Wiafe Addai mentioned BCI’s outreach and peer-nurse navigation programmes, as well as the involvement of breast cancer survivors in breast cancer education and treatment as some of the key measure to control the disease.
Dr. Wiafe who is also a Council Member of AORTIC and Past Vice- President of AORTIC in charge of West Africa, said breast cancer survivors play an important role by using their experience to give patients courage and hope to go through mastectomy and other forms of treatments.
“Women have the right to survive from breast cancer, and the location of women should not determine whether they would live or die of breast cancer”. She stressed.