Second Lady leads campaign against cervical cancer
Cervical cancer is preventable, early detection helps save the life of its victims. Many women in developing countries including Ghana with little or no knowledge about the disease have lost their lives as a result of late detection.
Second Lady of the Republic of Ghana, Samira Bawumia, has called for a national prevention campaign on cervical cancer to help save the lives of women in the country. She made this known at the National Cervical Cancer Forum which took place at the National Theatre on Friday, January 24, 2019.
“As we talk about the health issues, let’s also avert our minds to the socio-economic impact of this disease in our societies. We are losing mothers, we are losing wives, we are losing economic potentials in our society,” Samira added.
Cervical cancer is caused by sexually acquired infection with certain types of Human papillomavirus (HPV). There has been a call to action as the number of women in Ghana who die annually as a result of cervical cancer is on the rise. It is estimated that 3151 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer with 2119 dying from the disease each year.
Unlike breast cancer which can be physically detected by examining the breast, women with cervical cancer are unaware of it as they do not experience the symptoms unless in the advanced stages where it might be late to prevent it. It is advisable to get screened to detect cancer in its early stages.
Women between the ages of 40 to 60 are at a higher risk of the disease. Women in their teens and 20’s are usually infected with the Human papillomavirus (HPV) which is sexually acquired. Death through cervical cancer is projected to increase to almost 25% over the next 10 years.
‘No woman should die due to cervical cancer’ – Second Lady calls for action
There is a call for a national cervical cancer screening programme in order to eradicate the disease. Currently, the National Health Insurance Scheme does not cover the HPV vaccination and screening for cervical cancer. The cost of HPV vaccines ranges from GH200 to GH500 and it is available at some health centers including Korle-Bu and Ridge Hospital.
The month of January, as part of efforts to create awareness has been designated as Cervical Health Awareness to educate women and men on the need to get screened and seek early treatment to prevent deaths.
The National Cervical Cancer Forum was under the theme, “Cervical Cancer Prevention: A call to action”.