Firefighters At Risk Of Testicular Cancer



fire fightersThe Eastern Regional Fire Commander, Mr.  Edward Kweku Ashon, has said that firefighters are twice likely to develop testicular cancer and have higher rates of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and prostate cancer.

He indicated that according to a study by the Environmental Health Department of the University of Cincinnati in the US, there was a direct correlation between various chemicals and firefighters’ exposure to these chemicals increased the risk of developing cancer and other related diseases, which had no cure.

Mr. Ashon, therefore appealed to government to provide free medical care for firefighters to safeguard their health in order to keep them fit to contribute to national development.

The Eastern Regional Fire Service commander made these revelations at a health sensitisation programme, organised for fire personnel and their wives in the Eastern Region last Tuesday, in Koforidua.

He said the programme was to heighten the awareness of fire personnel and their wives on the risks associated with firefighting.
Mr. Ashon also mentioned inhaling of carbon monoxide and other dangerous chemicals which can lead to the retardation of the flow of oxygen that could result in heart related diseases which had no cure, as other occupational hazards being faced by fire personnel.

“We love to save lives and properties but we want to inform all that in doing so, we are exposed to a number of dangers,” he stressed.
Mr Ashon noted that the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has lost firefighters through cancer, and said that the health of firefighters should be of priority to the government.

He said that despite the challenges personnel of the GNFS faced, they would continue to protect life and property.
Dr Abou Anniel, cancer specialist at the St Joseph’s Hospital in Koforidua, urged firefighters to take note of situations that could result in the contracting of diseases, and report to the hospital when they observe any symptoms of diseases related to firefighting.
He advised them to wear protective spectacles to protect the eyes.

Doctors from the St. Joseph’s Hospital took fire personnel through eye screening, and hepatitis B, breast cancer, and HIV/AIDS testing and voluntary counseling.  From Alberta Sarpong, Koforidua

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