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November 6, 2018 | Health

Breast Cancer Awareness Day Held

Ghanaian Chronicle
Breast Cancer Awareness Day Held

The management of Goldfields Ghana Limited (GGL), Damang Mine, last weekend put premium on the health of women across its catchment area, when it organised a Breast Cancer Awareness Programme for its host communities.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has slated the month of October for a Breast Cancer Awareness Programme to drum home the need to create awareness about the deadly disease. Women are at high risk of the Breast Cancer disease, considering the fact that women constitute 99% of victims.

It was in light of this that the management of Damang GGL bussed scores of women from Abosso to Subri to come and listen to resource persons, who will lead a discussion on breast cancer, dubbed 'PINKTOBER', to create awareness about the disease.

The programme saw health officials take the women through the dangers of the deadly breast cancer disease, and why they needed to regularly visit health facilities to have their breasts examined for early detection of the disease.

Considering the dangers of the disease, the Breast Cancer Awareness Programme led to health officials taking the women through breast examination. Speaking to the women, Dr. Esi Mensah reiterated that the cause of the disease has not yet been identified.

However, the risk associated with the disease could be minimised only if women report regularly to hospitals for early detection. She identified some of the causes of the disease as obesity, poor hygiene, lifestyle practices such as drinking and smoking amongst others.

In an open discussion, some of the women participants explained what, in their understanding, were the causes of the deadly disease.

Some identified superstition as the cause, while others also asked pertinent questions relating to the causes of the disease.

The Community Relations Manager of Damang GGL, Mr. Razak Yakubu, addressing the gathering, said the Damang mine of Gold Fields was once again excited to host the event, aimed at improving the lot of the host communities it operates in.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a worldwide annual campaign involving thousands of organisations, to highlight the importance of breast cancer awareness, education and research. Mr. Yakubu said the Damang mine has since embarked on a series of programmes aimed at raising awareness on breast cancer, and today's event marked the climax of this endeavour.

Through its Foundation, the Damang mine of Gold Fields has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars improving health care delivery in its nine primary host communities. Notable among these interventions are:

  • The construction of a clinic and nurses quarters in Damang
  • The construction of a clinic and nurses quarters in Bompieso
  • The construction of a maternity block at Abosso
  • Training and equipping of Community Health Facilitators
  • Annual free medical screening, among others.

The Community Relations Manager told the gathering, considering the importance the mining company placed on health delivery, just last week, the company invited local contractors to tender for the complete rehabilitation of the Huni Valley Health Center.

When completed early next year, the three-bed facility would have been converted into a modem 20-bed health center, comparable to any other such facilities in the cities.

The mere provision of these facilities, according to the Community Relations Manager, was not the main source of pride for Gold Fields.

“Rather, it is the impact of these interventions that gladdens our hearts as stakeholders in the development of the communities. A young mother's life has been saved because of the proximity of a clinic to her home.

“Owing to our community health education, a family has been spared the agony of malaria because they used insecticide-treated nets. A pensioner is now on the right diet, because he was able to check his blood pressure and sugar levels at a health center near his home. These and many others are the realities we witness each day.

“Today, we join the rest of the world to educate each other, share ideas, and assure each other that breast cancer is real. There are risk factors that we need to know and avoid where possible. “As scary as we may think the condition is, early detection holds the key to its treatment and survival of the afflicted.”

The Chairman for the occasion, Obaahema Kurantiwa, Queenmother of Pompieso, told the women that the breast cancer disease was a life-threatening one. As a result, women need not joke with the disease.

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