Remove import duties on cancer drugs – Dr. Beatrice Wiafe-Addai to govt

The number of recorded cancer cases and deaths among women in Ghana is increasingly overwhelming.

Research has shown that every year, 2797 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and 1699 die from the disease.

Cervical cancer ranks as the 2nd most frequent cancer among women between 15 and 44 years of age.

Other research works have also revealed that 2,020 women die every year from breast cancer since 2020.

This has necessitated a strong call for awareness creation and treatment among individuals.

As the world celebrated World Cancer Day on February 4, the Chief Executive Officer of the Peace and Love Hospitals and the President of Breast Care International, Dr. Beatrice Wiafe-Addai emphasized the need for awareness and education.

She made a passionate appeal to relevant authorities to waive import duties on cancer drugs to ensure affordability for all individuals, irrespective of one’s financial status.

She also indicated that the syllabus in nursing training colleges be reviewed to include courses on cancer and cancer treatment to ensure adequate resource persons are available to ensure the smooth handling of cancer and its related cases.

“This is supposed to be the last year of the theme “Close the Care Gap,” but I think in low and middle-income countries, it shouldn’t end here. We should continue to do the things that we need to do to close the Care gap. We still have problems with the accessibility and affordability of the drugs. And if the drugs are not accessible, if they are not affordable, then it means they are not available. A lot of patients are not able to get what it takes for them to get the cure they need. And that is the reason we need to create more awareness and support patients to get the needed treatment,” Dr. Beatrice indicated.

The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, also encouraged frequent screening to ensure early detection and early treatment of the disease.

The regional minister said, “For every disease, when it gets to a cancerous level, then it becomes difficult to fight it. We are urging everyone to visit the hospital frequently for check-ups so that if you don’t have the disease, you can get the needed education to prevent it. Cancer is the number one killer disease globally, so the earlier we detect it, the better.”

A doctor at the Peace and Love Hospital, Augustine Tawiah, corroborated with Dr. Samuel Amanama, a consultant Urologist and Cytopathologist, and reiterated the need for a collaborative effort in creating awareness and education and ensuring adequate treatment.

Source: Doris Lonta

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