Roche has announced the launch of the new Tamale Teaching Hospital in partnership with the government of Ghana to expand access to oncology services for the Ghanaian people.
The announcement was made by Philip Anderson, General Manager for Roche Ghana, Dr Kareem Mumuni, CEO of Tamale Teaching Hospital, and Ambassador Dr Adu-Gyamfi on behalf of the Honorable Rebecca Naa Okaikor Akufo-Addo, First Lady of Ghana.
The cancer treatment centre at the Tamale Teaching Hospital is the third new centre launched this year as part of an agreement Roche signed with the Ministry of Health in June to develop infrastructure to deliver cancer care. By expanding oncology services at three new cancer treatment centres, Roche and the Ghana Ministry of Health are advancing their goal of alleviating geographic access barriers to quality cancer care; supporting capacity development and training for health care providers; and supporting awareness creation in communities.
“It’s an honor to open the third cancer centre in Ghana at the Tamale Teaching Hospital. Combined with the centres at the Cape Coast and Ho Teaching Hospitals, I am incredibly hopeful about the positive impact we will see for cancer care in the country and our ability to deliver innovation to patients in the region,” stated Philip Anderson, General Manager for Roche Ghana.
The cancer care journey for many Ghanians is full of challenges ranging from geographical access barriers to lack of awareness of risk factors and when to seek care. As part of efforts to increase awareness, Roche is providing the Tamale Teaching Hospital with funds to produce awareness materials in local languages.
Dr Kareem Mumuni, CEO of the Tamale Teaching Hospital, said, “Collaboration is essential to reaching the most patients in Ghana. Our partnership with Roche in addition to our partnerships with local community leaders will allow us to develop tailored solutions to support patients at every stage of their cancer journey.”
Women across Ghana often face an even more challenging cancer journey. Addressing women’s health and reproductive cancers must be a priority. As of 2020, breast cancer was the most diagnosed cancer both in Ghana and in the world, and the cause of the most cancer-related deaths in females in 2020.
“It is important to adequately address the healthcare needs of our people especially in the area of cancers that afflict women as this has a potential to adversely affect the country at large especially economically. The cost of this disease on society is immense and needs to be addressed,” said Ambassador Dr. Adu-Gyamfi, a representative of the Honorable Rebecca Naa Okaikor Akufo-Addo, First Lady of Ghana, in her speech at the launch.
Roche has long been working to improve oncology care in Ghana and in 2018 signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ghana Ministry of Health to conduct disease awareness programmes; increase screening to promote early detection; establish centres of excellence; improve diagnostic facilities at treatment centres; train specialists; develop a national cancer registry to better understand the disease burden; and establish national treatment guidelines. To improve access to innovative breast cancer therapies, Roche also worked with the Ministry of Health and multiple stakeholders to enable public funding of treatment at sustainable access pricing in 2019.