About 100 health workers in the Sekondi- Takoradi Metropolis are attending a three-day training workshop, at the Volta River Authority (VRA) Hospital at Aboadze, in the Shama District of the Western Region, to upgrade their knowledge on management of breast diseases.
Funded by VRA, the workshop is being organised for doctors, physician assistants, nurses and pharmacists to enable help reduce morbidity and mortality of the disease.
The Convener of the workshop, Dr Charles Arhinful, said that breast cancer treatment required a multi-disciplinary approach and that was why treatment was offered mainly in Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) and Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).
He said “COVID-19 had taught that health personnel can do things outside the office,” and announced that the VRA Hospital was linked with the Breast Cancer Tumour Board, at KATH, to give patients optimum treatment.
Dr Arhinful, who is also a surgeon specialist, said the initiative was to reduce cost of care, travelling to centre for care with its attendant inconveniences and reduce rate of withdrawal of care.
“Therefore, the VRA Hospital is able by this innovation to offer optimum breast cancer, offering diagnosis, chemotherapy, surgery and hormonal therapy, except radiotherapy. We will continue to build more collaboration to improve our services,” he said.
Dr Arhinful said the VRA Hospital has since 2020, set up breast cancer unit, and engaged in breast cancer awareness in its catchment communities and Sekondi- Takoradi.
He said the hospital had dedicated every Wednesday for free walk- in breast examination.
Dr Arhinful said the hospital has created awareness among women on signs and symptoms of breast cancer to enable them detect breast cancer early for treatment.
He said: “Public education needs to be combined with health worker education about signs and symptoms of early breast cancer so that women can be referred for diagnostic services when appropriate.”
He said according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) 2020 report, Ghana’s breast cancer burden was alarming and annual cases diagnosed increased from 2,260 in 2012 to 4,654 by 2018, (about 100 per cent increase) and projected that the figure would double in 2040.
The Director, Thermal Generation, VRA, Mr Edward Obeng Kenzo, noted that breast cancer was the number one cause of deaths caused by cancers among women in the country.
The Western Regional Director of Health, Dr Yaw Ofori Yeboah, said that breast cancer cases were under reported and that many lives were lost because of delay in detection and care.
FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, ABOADZE