The First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has accepted the role of Cancer Ambassador from Cancer Voices Ghana, a registered charity raising awareness of cancers in the country.
Cancer Voices Ghana paid a courtesy call on her to discuss the cancer situation in the country and the way forward in addressing the situation.
According to the President of the organisation, Dr Raphael Nyarkotey Obu, the group was delighted with the special policy in the New Patriotic Party’s Manifesto on cancers, adding that the charity was more than ready to help the government to implement that policy.
The group, according to Dr Nyarkotey Obu, represented the voice of people who had been affected by cancer in one way or another across the country by sharing their experiences to help shape cancer services and improve cancer care.
“We represent the Ghanaian who is suffering from cancer. We achieve our values, vision and purpose by building relationships with hospital advisory groups, local and central government, community organisations, private organisations and people affected by cancers.”
The group, he further stated, takes part in research, acts as funding agencies to all cancer groups and provides awareness and screening programmes.
Take cancers seriously
Dr Nyarkotey Obu on behalf of the group presented a proposal to the First Lady on what needed to be done to operationalise the campaign promises of recognising cancers as a national challenge.
He said it was imperative for the government to commit to cancer care because cancer differed by race; hence there was the need for the disease to be addressed accordingly.
The cause of cancer disease was yet to be established, Dr Nyarkotey said, explaining that no single thing could cause cancer as cancers were a spectrum of diseases.
As a research Professor of Prostate Cancer and Holistic Medicine at the Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine, Larnaca city, Cyprus, Dr Nyarkotey said he came to the realisation that cancer was often misunderstood by even the most respected medical professionals in the world.
This, he attributed to the belief that people got cancer the same way they would catch cold or bacterial infection, stressing, “But in reality, every cell has the ability to be cancerous and a variety of factors can prompt a cell to do so. And while most Oncologists (and even leading cancer associations) consider cancer a genetic disease, we realised that this is not entirely true.”
“Cancer is not an equal opportunity disease and we believe that unless we tackle the primary prevention of cancer, that is, stopping cancer before it starts, we are unlikely to see any improvement in the cancer situation in Ghana,” he added.
Dr Nyarkotey Obu suggested a number of inventions to address the cancer situation in the country, proposing the institution of a cancer awareness day and establishment of a national cancer foundation.
First Lady accepts challenge
The First Lady was excited to accept the role to lead the campaign and officially endorsed the charity after the group presented the cancer ambassadorial shirts to her.
She promised to make available a mobile van for the campaign.