The health of a woman is paramount for the development of a nation. Society benefits substantially from healthy women who can participate fully in family, workforce, and community life. Therefore, when a woman is sick, not only does it affect the person but it also affects the family, the society, and the nation as a whole.
Breast cancer is the leading cause of death amongst Ghanaian women, accounting for the majority of hospital admissions across the country. However, sixty percent of Ghanaian women delay seeking medical attention for breast problems, which often results in the progression of the disease into the advanced stages.
Subsequently, Breast Care International (BCI) in collaboration with Peace and Love Hospitals (PLH) have been conducting outreach programs over the last 12 years to educate and screen women for breast cancer. These outreach’s aim to create awareness through education in the ultimate hope of promoting early detection.
On Sunday 19th January 2015, Dr. (Mrs) Beatrice Wiafe Addai, the President of BCI and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PLH’s led a medical team to Akim Tafo to speak about breast cancer, its signs, symptoms, risk factors, methods of investigation and treatment options. Two churches in particular were a part of this outreach; New Tafo Catholic Church and New Tafo Bethel Presbyterian Church, whose women’s ministry led by Mrs Dankwah initiated the program.
Participants from both churches were informed that breast cancer is not only treatable, but also curable, if detected early. To aid in the possibility of early detection, Dr. Wiafe Addai taught the women how to properly perform their own Breast Self-Examination’s (BSE) monthly, using the 400 donated breast sense kits. Following the educational program, women from both churches and also the local town were clinically screened for symptoms of breast abnormalities and in particular, breast cancer. Those with abnormalities were referred to the hospital for further investigation and treatment. A blood donation exercise was also conducted to support breast cancer patients in need of blood transfusions.
Closing the program, Dr. Wiafe Addai invited the participants to stand together in the face of breast cancer stating, “let’s all fight to save lives.” On behalf of the Bethel congregation, the minister in charge Rev. Kofi Dankwah expressed his sincerest gratitude to Dr. Wiafe Addai and her team for their efforts and support.
A total of 1000 participants from each church, and also from the local town participated in the outreach. The program was proudly sponsored by the Platinum Ladies Club of London.