Roche Ghana has partnered with the Ho Teaching Hospital to provide breast cancer services to clients in the Volta Region and beyond.
The initiative is expected to reduce the stress and financial burden on patients in the facility’s catchment area as well as create awareness on the disease that is spreading rapidly among the Ghanaian populace.
The Ho Teaching Hospital serves as a treatment center for patients from the Volta, parts of the Eastern and Greater Accra regions and neighboring Togo.
Its history with regard to the treatment of cancer, dates back to 2002. During this period, surgeries and chemotherapy have been carried out on patients.
According to authorities, about 70% of cases recorded are breast cancer, which indicates a high prevalence rate of the disease among clients.
The Head of Surgery, Ho Teaching Hospital, Dr. Nelson Affram, explained that Dr. Nyamuame initiated cancer services at the facility where he provided treatment to patients on the wards.
“He will do the surgery and give the chemotherapy and everything on the ward, working with the nurses”, he explained.
He added that they understudied him and developed a passion for the treatment of the disease due to Dr. Nyamuame’s zeal and commitment towards treating patients.
“The only thing is that when we came in, we have gotten a chemo suite where we can move the patients to, from the wards,” he added.
Due to the high prevalence rate, there was a need to make available, adequate infrastructure and logistics for the diagnosis and management of the disease.
As part of a partnership deal with the Government of Ghana, Roche set up a chemo suite to augment the breast cancer services at the facility.
The Country Director of Roche, Dr. Philip Anderson explained that the partnership with government includes human capacity development, supporting with diagnosis, providing access to innovative treatment and infrastructure support.
He stressed the importance of early detection of the disease, which makes treatment easier and improves the survival rate of patients.
“We are also inviting everybody within the community to help increase the advocacy around early detection, screening, and also proper referral of these patients to a hospital so that they can get properly treated whenever anybody is suspected to have or is diagnosed to have cancer”, he appealed.
Dr. Philip stated that there is the possibility of his outfit helping to expand the chemo suite provided at the Ho Teaching Hospital, which can only accommodate 3 patients at a go, and make available top-notch treatment facilities.
The Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Ho Teaching Hospital, Dr. John Tampouri, lauded the partnership and urged patients to endeavour to access services at his outfit since the treatment of breast cancer is covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme.
He, however, lamented the unavailability of a radiation facility, which he said government is making frantic efforts to acquire for some 5 hospitals in the country, including Ho Teaching Hospital.
“The only difficulty is that we still don’t have a radiation facility here, and that is a very expensive investment. But having said that, I know that government has it planned to get about 5 facilities. Once that is done, this place would become a one-stop centre if for nothing at all, for breast cancer”, he said.
He concluded that the provision of the radiation facility would “be a very huge leap” in the management of cancer in the region.
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