As the world marks Cancer Day on Monday February 4, Hope for Future Generations (HFFG), a non- governmental organisation has called on the government to pay special attention to cervical cancer, the second most common cancer among women in Ghana.
Available statistics estimates that about 3,151 new cervical cancer cases were diagnosed in Ghana in 2018.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says cancer alone was responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018 worldwide, while an approximately 70 per cent of deaths from cancer, occur in low-and middle-income countries including Ghana.
The HFFG, the children, youth and women-focused NGO, said there was the need for more energies and investments to be channelled into initiatives to reduce the cervical cancer burden in Ghana.
World Cancer Day is celebrated each year on February 4, to rally the international community to scale-up efforts of meeting the 2025 global target to reduce the burden of cancer.
Mrs Cecilia Senoo, the Executive Director of HFFG said in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency on Monday that “The annual number of cervical cancer deaths in Ghana is around 2,119, and as it stands, there are many women at risk.
“This calls for an upscale in national cancer response, if we are to attain Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.
She urged the government to ensure that sustainable programmes were put in place to promote the vaccination of girls and women against cervical cancer.
“Though studies have shown that early screening for cervical cancer is key in saving lives, there are many women, specifically from rural, and lower-socioeconomic populations, who are being left behind,” she stated.
The HFFG is therefore, calling for multi-sector collaborations to ensure the availability of affordable basic technologies and essential medicines required to control all forms of cancers, especially cervical cancer.
“Additionally, we encourage Ghanaian women to regularly screen for signs of cervical cancer to avert late-stage presentation,” she said.
Ghanaian men are also being urged to encourage their partners to go for regular cervical cancer screening at designated health facilities.
World Cancer Day is celebrated annually, to also raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment.