This year’s Breast Care International (BCI), Ghana Walk For The Cure, focusing on strategies to strengthen the country’s fight against breast cancer will be staged in the twin-city of Sekondi-Takoradi, capital of the Western Region on October 30, Dr. (Mrs.) Beatrice Wiafe Addai, Chairperson of the Walk, has announced.
Cast in the mould of the American-based Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure, it represents Ghana’s largest and most successful awareness creation event for breast cancer.
Crafted by BCI, Ghana’s leading medical non-governmental organisation in the breast cancer crusade, in tandem with its sister health care facility, Peace and Love Hospitals Limited (PLH) in 2011 as an annual event, this year’s walk is the fifth in the series.
The first two walks held in Kumasi in 2011 and 2012 pulled over 13,000 and 20,000 participants respectively, with the subsequent ones in Accra (2013) and Sunyani (2014) attracting over 30,000 and 35,000 participants respectively.
Speaking at the maiden meeting of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for this year’s walk at the Essipon Sports Stadium, near Sekondi, Dr. Wiafe Addai explained that the event which entailed the organisation of a float, a funfair, a keep fit exercise, a durbar, lectures and a clinical breast screening exercise, was not only aimed at whipping up awareness creation about the disease, but also showcasing survivorship.
Dr. Wiafe Addai, a renowned consultant breast surgeon who is also the president of BCI and Chief Executive Officer of PLH, said the current breast cancer situation in the country was alarming and called for the intensification of awareness creation about the disease across the country to help stem the tide.
She stressed the need for the active participation of the youth in the breast cancer crusade to help ensure a breast cancer- free future, adding that this year’s event would focus mainly on students of first and second cycle schools as well as the tertiary institutions.
Dr. Wiafe Addai announced that a number of very important personalities, including President John Mahama, flag bearers of political parties, members of parliament, medical practitioners and paramount chiefs and queenmothers had been invited to grace the occasion.
She, emphasised that “the event is not a political one and so no party colours will be entertained. It’s rather an occasion where we all come together in the fight against breast cancer”.
Urging the LOC members to give of their best to make the upcoming event successful and historic, Dr. Wiafe Addai said everything must be done to showcase that “the best, indeed, comes from the West”.
Nana Tetrete Okuamoah Sekyim II, Omanhene of Wassa Amenfi Traditional Area and member of the Western Region House of Chiefs, who chaired the meeting, asked all stakeholders to embrace the event and pledged the support of the House for the Walk.
The Regional Commander of the Police MTTU, DSP Michael D. Zah and Madam Guddy A. Kermah, Regional SHEP Co-ordinator of the Ghana Education Service, gave the assurance of the readiness of their organisations to offer the necessary co-operation towards a successful event.
A song on breast cancer composed by Akosua Agyapong, a popular musician and BCI ambassador, was outdoored at the meeting.