Health Walk Opens 2019 Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
Lifeline for Childhood Cancer, Ghana (LCCG) a non-profit organization providing treatment and care for children with cancer on Saturday held a health walk at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital to raise more awareness and campaign against childhood cancer in Accra.
This is part of activities lined up for this year 2019 World Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
The 7.2 Kilometer walk which was led by a brass band and the Ghana Police started around 7:am from Korlebu through some environs including Mamprobi, Laterbiokorshie, Kaneshie and Abossey-Okai, Mortuary Road ended around 9:30am.
The walk saw Doctors from the Department of Child Health of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital participating as well as other health volunteers and the general public.
Other activities lined up to expand the awareness base are Blood Donation & Health Screening at the Achimota Mall, Blood Donation & Health Screening at the Accra Mall and a Fund Raising Dinner to support childhood cancer treatment.
Aside from raising funds for child cancer victims and their families, LCCG has also been involved in various campaigns of this nature advocating for the need for parents and families to seek early treatment since Child Cancer is curable.
LCCG is dedicated to making childhood cancer control a national health priority, providing support to families affected by childhood cancer, creating awareness about childhood cancer among health workers and the general public and increasing access to optimal treatment for cure.
Akua Sarpong, Executive Secretary of LCCG in an interview underscored the critical need to create awareness about childhood cancer among health workers and the general public as well as increasing access to optimal treatment to cure cancers.
She revealed that a report by the LCCG has revealed that about 300,000 children are diagnosed with cancer every year. Approximately 80 percent of the world’s children with cancer live in low middle-income countries where more than 80 percent die of the disease.
“In Ghana, even though there is no comprehensive epidemiological data on the magnitude of childhood cancers, it is estimated that about 1 in 500 children will be affected by 15 years of age.
…This is according to evaluation data from more developed countries. Hence with Ghana’s over 24 million, it is expected that about 1,000 children below 15 years of age be affected yearly. Most cancers, frequently seen at the Paediatric Cancer Unit, are lymphomas, leukemia, kidney cancers, eye cancers, and others,” Akua Sarpong revealed.
So far, the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra and Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi are the only hospitals having comprehensive Paediatric Cancer Units with about 300 cases are seen yearly in total by the two centers.
The expensive nature of the treatment processes and the drugs, childhood cancer has often led to huge financial burdens on families and in most cases death of infants.