Ghana to implement 5year National Strategy for Cancer Control

First Lady, Mrs Lordina Mahama
First Lady, Mrs Lordina Mahama

First Lady, Mrs Lordina Mahama delivering her speech at 8th SCCA Conference, Windhoek, NamibiaGhana is to start the implementation of a five year National Strategy for Cancer Control. First Lady, Mrs. Lordina Mahama, announced this when she shared Ghana’s progress story and challenges in her efforts to ensure universal access to cervical cancer prevention, with her colleague African First ladies and participants at the ongoing 8th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa Conference and Exhibition, in Windhoek, Namibia.
The strategy will roll out various interventions that will help manage and control breast and cervical cancers, as well as other cancers in the country.

For the past eight years, the fight against cancers, especially those of Cervical, Breast and Prostate in Africa, has intensified. The first call was made in Abuja, Nigeria, in 2007, when a Nigerian cancer advocate, Princess Nikky Onyeri, initiated the Forum of African First Ladies against Breast, Cervical and prostate Cancer, and convened the first Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa, SCCA Conference in July, with 15 African First Ladies.

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women, worldwide, with an annual incidence of almost 500,000 new cases and 275,000 deaths. About 85% of the women who die from cervical cancer live in developing countries, due to inadequate resources, infrastructure, and denied access to early diagnosis, treatment and palliative care.

Over the years, various First Ladies have hosted the conference in their countries. They have also been working to bring on board both regional and international attention to cancer and its burden on Africa, and push for the integration of the treatment of non-communicable diseases, especially cancers into their respective primary healthcare systems.

At the 8th conference in Windhoek, Namibia, hosted by the First Lady of Namibia, Penehupifo Pohamba,? First Ladies from various African countries shared their stories about interventions they have made in a bid to achieve the forum’s basic objective, which is to end cervical cancer by 2030. All the First Ladies noted that though some successes have been chalked in the awareness creation about breast, cervical and prostate cancers, lack of adequate resources, infrastructure, and lack of access to early diagnosis, treatment and palliative care still remain a challenge in many African countries.

Ghana’s First Lady, Mrs Lordina Mahama, announced during a presentation that apart from an on-going negotiation with GAVI to increase the HPV vaccine support period to ten years, and clinical breast examination screening at various health facilities and family planning centres in the country, among other interventions embarked on by the government, she would support other various interventions that would be rolled out under a five year National Strategy for Cancer Control, with her campaign on breast and cervical cancers and HIV and AIDs, which the Lordina Foundation is already implementing in some regions in the country, to ensure that universal access to prevention and treatment of cancers were made available.
Mrs. Mahama urged African governments to join hands with the First Ladies so that together, they demonstrate a shared responsibility in making the health of women, especially in Africa, a priority.

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