23.06.2004 Health

Minister of Health launches Cancer Society of Ghana

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Accra, June 23, GNA - The Cancer Society of Ghana (CSG), non-governmental organisation, was launched in Accra on Wednesday to facilitate a national awareness drive on the prevention and treatment of cancer.

The Society would lead the crusade on the dangers associated with the disease and provide support for patients. It comprises medical practitioners, the clergy, business entrepreneurs and the academia. Dr Kweku Afriyie, Minister of Health, who launched the NGO on behalf of Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama tasked the members to be proactive and pragmatic in initiating programmes to educate the citizenry about the disease.

He expressed worry about the devastating effect of cancer on patients, stressing: "It is quite worrying to note that only a very small percentage of cancer victims in Ghana successfully recover from the disease."

The Health Minister charged the Society to provide relief, consolation and care to patients. "Government is enthusiastic to cooperate with the Cancer Society as well as other NGOs in the war against cancer."

Dr Afriyie said the World Health Organisation (WHO) had projected that about 10 million to 15 million new cases of cancer would occur worldwide in each year with the less developing countries accounting for 60 per cent, while 10 million patients were expected to die by 2020. "This poses a challenge to the Cancer Society of Ghana," he said.

Mr Yaw Adu-Boahene, a Business Consultant and a member of Trustee of the CSG, said the Society had plans to develop an accurate national cancer register; promote research into the incidence of the disease, develop and implement measures to boost access of patients to palliative care strategies.

Mr Adu-Boahene appealed to the Government, donors, benevolent organisations and individuals to support the activities of the Society. Mrs Emma Mitchell, Member of Council of State, commended the founding members of the Society for their willingness to embark on a nationwide campaign to minimise the incidence of the disease. She pledged the support of the Council to facilitate activities of the Society. 23 June 04

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