Breast Care International (BCI) has charged chiefs and opinion leaders with stepping up efforts in their communities to combat breast cancer.
Breast cancer has claimed the lives of thousands, if not millions, of women in Ghana over the years as a result of inadequate early detection and sensitisation efforts.
Speaking to journalists after a sensitisation event in Sewua in the Ashanti Region, the organization’s President, Dr. Beatrice Wiafe-Addai, stated that the fight against breast cancer will not be won without the support of key stakeholders such as chiefs, assembly members, and unit committee members.
“We listen to our chiefs, respect and adore them, and they are the best people to help us get the message out to our people. Our people have made some informed decisions, and changing people’s mentalities takes time, and we need opinion leaders to assist us in changing these mentalities,” she stated.
She added it is critical to avoid herbalists and pastors who claim to cure everything, including breast cancer.
According to her, women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer are especially vulnerable, so if they hear such a message on the radio, they will rush there, worsening the situation.
“When it comes to cancers, they (media outlets) should tone down such advertisements that they can cure everything, including breast cancer and prostate cancer because women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer are especially vulnerable and so whenever they hear about something, they rush there. When they hear that this pastor is performing miracles, they rush there, which is harmful to their health,” Dr Wiafe-Addai appealed.
Cancers, according to the Ashanti Regional Non-communicable Focal Person, Lydia Owusu Ansah, are now outgrowing any other disease in the country and must be addressed immediately.
She stated that cancers such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, and cervical cancer, among others, should be taken seriously in order to reduce the number of fatalities each year.
Lydia Ansah cited inadequate medical logistics and financial issues as some of the challenges impeding Ghana Health Service’s (GHS) activities.
While urging members of the public to go through regular cancer screenings, she also urged media outlets to stop pastors and herbalists from misusing their platforms to deceive the public.
The Chief of Sewua, Nana Amankwaa II thanked Breast Care International and the Peace and Love Hospital for bringing the breast cancer awareness event and screening to the community for the first time.
He believes the move will help save many lives in Sewua.
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