Lifeline for Childhood Cancer Ghana launched

Prof. Renner

Prof. Renner

Government has been urged to include childhood cancer treatment on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

“This will provide adequate support and access to acceptable standards of care for children living with cancer,” said Professor Lorna Awo Renner, Head of Paediatric Oncology Unit, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH).

Professor Renner made the call at the launch of Lifeline for Childhood Cancer, Ghana (LCCG), a non-profit organisation that seeks to provide treatment and care of children with cancer aside raising funds for the victims and their families, in Accra at the weekend.

She said about 300 cases of childhood cancer were reported annually at the KBTH and the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, mentioning lymphomas, leukaemia, retinoblastoma, wilms, as some of them.

Prof Renner said the cost of treatment ranges between GH¢4,000 and GH¢8,000, adding that leukaemia treatment within three years cost GH¢ 25,000.

She said early detection and effective treatment of the disease could cure over 80 per cent of childhood cancer in the country.

Prof Renner said parents do not report the cases early, due to lack of knowledge and sociocultural beliefs, “so they wait at home and the cancer gets out of hand, but if it’s detected early and cured, at least such children could have more than 50 potential years to contribute to national development.”

She called for awareness creation for public and health workers, and the need for a national cancer strategy to build capacities and address childhood cancer issues.

The Board Chairman of LCCG, Dr. William Panford Bray said apart from helping to raise funds for the treatment and caring of children with cancer, the LCCG would facilitate access to medical care and advocate for accessible high-quality diagnostic treatment in the country.

He called on organisations and individuals to contribute to the LCCG fund in order to care for children suffering from cancer.

BY AGNEWS OPOKU SARPONG

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