Childhood cancer in Africa is now clearly an important disease condition. With most health system resources being directed to combating infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria and other conditions such as malnutrition, it is expected that these conditions will be brought under control and that cancer will be an increasingly important cause of child morbidity and mortality. Using unpublished data from the Child Health Department of the Korle Bu Teaching hospital, excluding the deaths occurring in the first 48 hours after admission in the emergency room, child cancer cases account for the highest percentage (17%) of deaths on the longer stay wards at KBTH.
There is a general lack of awareness about childhood cancer in Ghana as a whole and it has to compete with other pressing health care needs for limited resources.
Despite this, one has to bear in mind the fact that it is our moral duty to ensure children affected worldwide by all disease conditions, including cancer should have access to acceptable standards of care.
The most important message to remember is that childhood cancer can be cured provided the known effective treatments are made available, affordable and are utilised appropriately.
Families should look forward to a long productive life for affected children and should be given a more optimistic outcome.
LET US ACT NOW FOR CHILDREN WITH CANCER!!!