As Ghana joins the rest of the world to mark World Cancer Day, which falls on the February 4, every year, Hope for Future Generations (HFFG), a children, youth and women-focused non-governmental organization, is calling on government to pay special attention to cervical cancer, which is the second most common cancer in women living in Ghana.
According to the NGO, available data suggests that about 3,151 new cervical cancer cases were diagnosed in Ghana in 2018, hence the need for more energies and investments to be channelled into initiatives to reduce the cervical cancer burden.
“The annual number of cervical cancer deaths in Ghana is around 2,119, and as it stands, there are many women at risk. This calls for an upscale in national cancer response, if we are to attain Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” Mrs Cecilia Senoo, the Executive Director of HFFG said in a press statement.
She urged the government of Ghana to ensure sustainable that programs are put in place to promote the vaccination of girls and women against cervical cancer.
“Though studies have shown that early screening for cervical cancer is key in saving lives, there are many women, specifically from rural, and lower-socioeconomic populations who are being left behind, she stated.
The organization is also calling for multi-sector collaborations to ensure the availability of affordable basic technologies and essential medicines required to control all forms of cancers, especially cervical cancer.
“Additionally, we encourage Ghanaian women to regularly screen for signs of cervical cancer to avert late-stage presentation,” Mrs. Cecilia Senoo recommended.
We again call on Ghanaian men to encourage their partners to go for regular cervical cancer screening at designated health facilities.
World Cancer Day is celebrated each year on 4 February to rally the international community to scale-up in efforts on meeting the 2025 global target to reduce the burden of cancer. The day is also used to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including cancer are the biggest cause of death worldwide.
WHO says cancer alone was responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018.
Approximately 70% of deaths from cancer occur in low- and middle-income countries including Ghana.