About 35,000 people from all walks of life joined the Fourth Breast Care International (BCI) Ghana Walk for the Cure in the Brong Ahafo Regional Capital, Sunyani over the weekend.

Based on the increasing incidence of breast cancer globally and the high rate of mortality in Ghana, BCI has recognized the need to reach out to people in other parts of the country with education and awareness creation about breast cancer, hence the Sunyani event.

Initiated in 2011, as the Susan G. Komen Ghana Race for the Cure, BCI Ghana Walk for the Cure is the country’s largest and most successful awareness creation event for breast cancer. Following the successful outcome of the past three Walks, two in Kumasi and one in Accra, the collective efforts of BCI, Peace and Love Hospitals, breast cancer survivors, other stakeholders, and the general public in the search for a cure has proved to be a potent force in giving hope to mostly women who have shied away from facing the reality of the disease.

Dignitaries who participated in this year’s event included former President Kufuor and his wife Theresa, Eastern Regional Minister, Antwi Bosiako Sekyere who represented President Mahama, and some District Chief Executives.

More than 500 Breast Cancer Survivors from the Peace and Love Survivors Association (PALSA), who against all odds have proven that the disease is treatable and survivable joined the Walk carrying placards some of which read; "We're stronger together", "Let's defeat Breast Cancer", "There's strength in numbers", "You're not alone in this fight", "There's hope in life", "We're all in this together", “I am proud to be a survivor”, “Women, let’s be Breast Cancer Aware and not Scared”, “Our families and the nation need us”, “Breast cancer is curable & survivable” among others.

The 2014 event themed “Let’s Join in the Fight, We are Stronger Together’’, focused on a serious issue of preventing untimely death from breast cancer and to showcase SURVIVORSHIP. The participants, who were drawn from educational and religious institutions, keep fit clubs, journalists, musicians, politicians, medical practitioners, researchers, individual men and women, and other organized groups massed up at the residency of the Brong-Ahafo Regional minister to start the six kilometer route through the principal streets with fanfair and merry making and finally converged at the Sunyani Jubilee Park for the durbar.

Activities at the durbar included breast cancer awareness speeches, musical concert, displays and glimpses into the lives of some breast cancer survivors. The staff of Peace and Love Hospitals conducted a free clinical breast screening to voluntary participants of the event. 

During the free Clinical Breast Screening exercise, participants were taught how to perform their own breast self-examination (BSE), which has been acknowledged as an effective means of early detection of breast cancer especially in low and middle income countries.

President of BCI and Race Chair, Dr. (Mrs.) Beatrice Wiafe Addai, says that late presentation of breast cancer results from ignorance, lack of education and awareness, myths and misconception about the disease; this has been the greatest obstacle to early diagnosis and successful treatment, BCI thought it timely to modify the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure to suit our own special Ghanaian way as our contribution to raising awareness about this disease affecting women, men and children in varying degrees.

BCI acknowledged the support from companies and individuals for their contribution towards the successful walk to fight breast cancer. They included: Inter-commercial Impex Ltd, distributers of Forever Easy and Yofi Sanitary Pads (Main Sponsors), Despite group of companies, Philips Healthcare, Varian Medical Systems, Tigo, Special Ice Mineral water, Roche Products GH. Ltd, Ghana Link Network, Astrazeneca, Cedar Point Chemist, National Health Insurance Authority, Johnson & Johnson, Agricultural Development Bank, Ghana Commercial Bank, Unicredit, Vita Milk, GTP Textiles, Ghana Airports, Former President and Mrs. Kufuor, Universal Merchant Bank, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Mr. Kofi Adams, ONGA, Enterprise Group, Hippo Limited, Cal Bank, Faustina Nelson, First Capital Plus, Mr. Yaw Boateng Gyan, Bank of Africa, K. Net, Ecobank, Beando Ventures, Osbee Enterprise, African Guarantee Trust Financial Services, Mr. Amoateng, AGI, Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs, Unichem Ghana Limited, Healthy Life Beverage, Felibat, Metro TV, Breeze FM, Viasat 1, Tyco Hotel, Captain Asaase Gyimah, Mr. Asiedu Nketia, and Mapplewood Hotel.

 

Click here for photos of the Walk

 

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