The Rebecca Foundation, a non-governmental organisation of the First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has presented three pre-cervical cancer treatment equipment to the Ghana Health Service (GHS).
The equipment are to help to stem cases and case progression to advanced conditions to reduce related deaths.
Known as thermocoagulator, the equipment is a mobile battery-operated handheld device used to treat pre-cervical cancer lesions, patches of abnormal cells growing on the cervix.
The device uses heat to destroy the function of the cancerous body tissue.
The Director-General of the GHS, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, received the equipment in Accra yesterday, and expressed gratitude to Mrs Akufo-Addo for her support to improved and quality healthcare delivery for women in the country.
He said her contribution to the treatment of cervical cancer was commendable.
The GHS data shows that the country records over 3,000 cases annually, losing more than half the number to late reporting.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye said although cervical cancer was largely preventable, success depended on sustained screening and treatment of pre-cancer.
He said portable equipment was efficient in treating cervical cancers at their very early stages.
He said the use of thermal ablation to treat cervical abnormalities among women had proven to be effective and, in many cases, simpler than traditional cryotherapy interventions.
“Interest in thermal ablation has resurged following the usability and acceptability in low and middle income countries like Ghana.
“We thank the Rebecca Foundation for the donations of these thermocoagulators. We will ensure that they are put to good use in our collective fight against cervical cancer and in reducing the burden of non-communicable diseases nationwide,” he added.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye said while the GHS and its stakeholders were working around the clock to raise awareness about the condition, preventable through vaccination and treatable when picked very early, it was necessary to build the country’s capacity, particularly at the pre-cancer or early cancer stages.
He said that was why equipment such as the thermocoagulators should be made available to the healthcare delivery system in all districts, and appealed to the foundation and other benevolent organisations and individuals to help to equip the healthcare system with adequate numbers of the equipment.
“Although cervical cancer is preventable, Ghana recorded some 2,797 new cases of the disease, with 1,699 deaths, in 2020.
“Screening for cervical cancer in lower middle income countries like Ghana is one of the mainstays for preventing the mortality and morbidity associated with cervical cancer, in addition to awareness creation,” he said.
The Press Secretary at the Office of the First Lady, Richard Darko, who presented the equipment, said the donation followed discussions among the foundation, the GHS and others stakeholders on how local cases of cervical cancer and breast cancer prevalence and mortality could be reduced.
He said based on the discussions, some healthcare workers were given additional capacity in the management of cancer cases.
“The foundation realised that the trained personnel needed the tools to practicalise their training,” he said.
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