The agreement which was signed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on behalf of the Government would create disease awareness, improve diagnostics, train healthcare professionals and provide access to innovative treatments.
It builds upon the existing National Strategy for Cancer Control and National Hepatitis Policy in Ghana, establishment by the Ministry of Health in 2014 and 2015 which were developed to provide responses to cancer and hepatitis challenges in the country.
The expected partnership activities for the breast cancer agreement include disease awareness programmes, screening to promote early detection, establishment of two centres of excellence, referral pathways to tertiary centres, training of specialists and development of National Cancer registries to establish disease burden to aid planning.
It also includes development of national treatment guidelines and access to treatment for breast cancer under the National Health Insurance Scheme.
The proposed partnership activities for the hepatitis agreement include development of national prevalence data, disease awareness programmes, screening, training healthcare providers in diagnostics, improving availability of diagnostics in the public sector, access to innovative treatments, and the development of national treatment guidelines.
Mr Alex Segbefia, Minister of Health said: “There are effective tools available to prevent infection with viral hepatitis, which include hepatitis B vaccination, surveillance, education, screening and treatment; however the challenge is to build the capacity to extend these interventions countrywide.
“For this the MOH constituted technical experts who tirelessly worked and had consultative review meetings with all key stakeholders that matter to develop the first-ever national policy on prevention and control of viral hepatitis in the country”, he added.
Mr Charles Fordjour, Country Manager of Roche Ghana said the organisation wants to start a programme where women in Ghana would have early cure to the two diseases without thinking about who would bear the cost.
“Our goal in Ghana is to give women equal health opportunities as other women receive across the globe,” he said.
Mr Markus Gemuend, Sub-Sahara Africa General Manager, Roche said it is important that his company partner the Government to reduce the life threatening diseases of Ghanaian women.
He noted that 29 medicines are included in the World Health Organisation’s essential medicines and it is the believe Ghanaian women should also have same access to them for better health.
Dr Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyira, Director General of the Ghana Health Service expressed gratitude to Roche for such an initiative to help promote the health of Ghanaian women.
Dr Appiah-Denkyira urged the executives of Roche and other non-governmental organisations to initiate similar programmes to support the health of Ghanaians.
Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives.
Roche is the world’s largest biotech company with differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system.
It is also the world leader in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics and frontrunner in diabetes management.
By Eunice Hilda Ampomah, GNA