Ghana Armed Forces launches Prostate Cancer project
The Ghana Armed Forces has launched a Prostate Cancer Early Detection Project in Accra on Friday.
The project, which is in collaboration with the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnsonis aimed at improving prostate cancer diagnosis, care and management among men aged 40 and above in the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).
It is also aimed at increasing awareness, screening and treatment of prostate cancer to ensure the survival of patients.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Chief of Defence Staff, Vice Admiral Seth Amoama said prostate cancer was a major health concern and the second most commonlydiagnosed cancer in men.
He said the incidence of prostate cancer increases withaging, adding, that men with genetic predisposition tend to develop thedisease at an early age.
Vice Admiral Amoama said prostate cancer could be cured but adding that most cases were diagnosed latedue to lack of awareness, lack of funds among others.
“To change this narrative among personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces and civilian patrons of the Ghana Armed Forces Medical Services, the Ghana High Armed Forces High Command through the Non-Communicable Disease programme of the public health division, 37 Military Hospital have put in place a few interventions expected to initiate the needed change,” he added.
He stated that the Non-Communicable Disease programme had embarked on early prostate cancer detection programme in all military garrisons across the country, adding, that it was expected to create the needed awareness to drive behavioural change among personnel.
Vice Admiral Amoama said 34 health promotion officers from all garrisons have been trained on effective communication as well as 51 medical officers and physician assistants have also been trained on prostate cancer, its diagnosis and management.
He encouraged male personnel aged 40 and above to screen for prostate cancer.
The Country Manager of Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson, Mr Henry OseiAgyekum said the aim of the partnership was to support awareness, screening, enhance early detection and treatment as well as reducing mortality rate of military personnel.
He said the efforts and approach outlined in the project would be consistent with the Ghana national strategy for cancer control as well as the strategy outlined in the National Policy for the prevention and control of chronic non-communicable diseases.
“Today’s launch is a great example of how public private partnerships can strengthen healthcare systems in countries like Ghana,” he added.
He said it was important to find ways to diagnose prostate cancer in the country adding that his outfit had procured 2,500 PSA semi quantitative test kits for screening.
MrAgyekum said the military had committed to treating every patient diagnosed with the disease at no or lower cost to the patient including their spouses.
BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU