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Childhood cancer, Ghana’s less concern

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School of Public Health, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

It hopes to reduce poverty and child mortality through improvement in diagnosis, treatment and care for affected children.

World Child Cancer Country Programme Coordinator, George Achempim tells News Ghana, Lymphomas, Leukaemias, Retinoblastomas which affect the eyes and Wilms (Kidney) are some of the commonest childhood cancers in Ghana.

According to him, eradicating the disease will take a combined effort of parents of affected children and the general public hand in hand with the health workers.

He explained that, cancer is a generic term for a large number of diseases that can affect any part of the body, which starts when cells in a part of the body begin to grow out of proportion.

Cancer cell growth is different from normal cell growth, instead of dying, it continues to grow, form new abnormal cells, and invade (grow into) other tissues.

He said, in every 3 minutes 1 child is diagnosed of cancer according to the American Childhood Cancer Organization in 2015.

” … And globally, 200,000 to 250,000 each year, where 160,000 indicating 80% of these children with cancer, lives in the developing countries. Where as 50th 200 / 1000 indicating 20% to 30% in low Middle Income Countries. He threw more light on the fact that, generally 80% of Childhood Cancers are curable.”

“We failed 11 year old Yaa Adwoboa Owusu Who lost the battle to childhood cancer on the 4th of December 2015, at KATH in Kumasi and we continue to fail many other children suffering from this dreaded disease” he stressed.

According to him the country is doing so bad as children are dying because of weak health care system, coupled with lack of commitment to support childhood cancer.

“It is such a shame that, NHIS does not cover any childhood cancer medication or treatment. But we can spend Ghs 30,420.00 for re – branding of busses” he lamented.

World Child Cancer hopes to create more awareness as it seeks to encourage post-humous review to establish the actual cause in the event of death of a cancer victim.

Source : Sammy Adjei / Newsghana.com.gh

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