‘If the breast of the woman is at risk, the entire humanity is at risk’.
This is according to the Deputy Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission, Wahab Adam Issah who wants 0.5 percent of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) levy to be dedicated to the treatment of breast cancer to make it free.
Mr. Issah said this during the launch of the Meena Breast Cancer Awareness project to kick-start support for patients to undergo treatment and effective advocacy on the disease.
The second Deputy Ameer explained that the ‘breast’ is what has kept humanity to be in existence as every being survived on the nipple.
In this regard, he has urged government to ensure that at least 0.5 percent of the NHIL levy be dedicated to breast cancer to encourage patients to seek medical treatment to reduce related deaths.
“There is nobody who did not benefit from the breast. It is worrying the spate at which women die from breast cancer. Breast is the basic item of life and if we have women dying at this rate, humanity is at risk. Let us help protect the breast. Sometimes, that is what even draws us closer. Government must ensure that its treatment becomes free for the ordinary person to get medical treatment and not resort to unapproved herbal medicines because of the cost.
“At least, 0.5 percent of the NHIL levy must be dedicated to the treatment of the disease. I am appealing to the parliamentarians to push for this to happen,” he appealed.
His comments were corroborated by the Head of the Cancer Unit at the Korle-Bu Teaching hospital, Dr. Florence Dedey, and an Oncology Nurse resident at the Korle-Bu Teaching hospital, Abigail Olympio who put out scary figures on the mortality rate of women with breast cancer.
According to Dr. Dedey, “4,000 women contract breast cancer and 2,000 die from the disease annually so we can imagine the adverse impact the disease has on families and the society at large. In the developed world the cases are huge compared to Ghana but the death rate here is high. This calls for actionable measures to fight the disease,” she said.
Doctor Dedey, who is a survivor herself, said many women succumb to the disease because of late treatment and non-completion of the treatment, which is a result of financial difficulties.
She said she is therefore excited that the Meena Breast Cancer Awareness campaign would support patients to undergo treatment to ‘impact the lives of Ghanaian women.’
Madam Olympio who wants another approach to fight the disease said ‘the numbers are frightening and it must be regarded a pandemic’.
The Meena Breast Cancer Awareness project was born out of the vision of Mrs. Amina Oppong Kwarteng who succumbed to the disease.
Championed by her spouse, the Executive Director of Crime Check Foundation (CCF), Ibrahim Oppong Kwarteng, the campaign would be run under the CCF Health Check Series.
By Rudolph Nandi