Crime prevention and advocacy organisation, Crime Check Foundation (CCF) has launched the Meena Breast Cancer Awareness Project.
The project under CCF’s Health Check Series is in memory of Mrs Amina Oppong Kwarteng, the late wife of the CCF founder and journalist, Mr Ibrahim Kwarteng.
The project is an initiative birthed on the vision of the late Mrs Kwarteng who prior to her death sought to champion awareness of breast cancer in partnership with the Oncology Department of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
Following her demise, her husband, Mr Kwarteng thought it wise not for the dream to die with her, hence the project to actualise it and described the launch as an important and emotional day for him.
He revealed his wife on her sick bed declared her name ‘Amina’ will become a blessing to Ghana and nations around the world even after death.
“My wife on her sick bed told me she was going to mount an aggressive breast cancer campaign and that is why we’re gathered here because I do not want her dream to die with her, ” he eulogised.
He urged constant self-examination and periodic hospital visitation, adding the ‘Pink October’ yearly advocacy on breast cancer seems not to yield the needed result, hence it should be made a daily campaign.
A Resident Oncology Nurse at Korle Bu, Abigail Olympio speaking at the event stated the project will be targeted mainly at the younger population mostly in the various High Schools and Universities and targeting this niche group.
She explained the aim is to build a lifelong culture of breast self-examination and general self-care in the younger populace.
The Head of Breast Cancer at Korle Bu, Dr Florence Dedey said the Project was a much-needed initiative considering the state of breast cancer in Ghana as of now.
As a survivor, she testified early detection increases a patient’s chance of surviving the deadly disease and expressed hope the initiative will go a long way to help many.
“I’m a survivor who was diagnosed in 2016 but today I’m alive. Breast Cancer always doesn’t have to end our lives.
“I’m happy about the initiative and I’m optimistic with Mr Kwarteng’s passion, the goal will be achieved,” she stated.
A medical practitioner at the Light House Mission Hospital who is also a survivor, Dr Joyce Wilson commended Mr Kwarteng for the initiative as she encouraged self-examination, especially among women to ensure early detection.
“I salute Ibrahim for bringing Meena’s vision to pass because not many people are able to get over the shock. We’re mourning Meena. She fought breast cancer and even though it seems she has laid down her tools, it is not the case. She is gone but thinking about others.
“I am a survivor and I thank God that I am here four years down the line. The shock and fear can cripple you upon diagnosis but we must get beyond them.
“There are no visible symptoms but we must be proactive about the screening and most importantly know your breast so you can easily recognise a change and take charge of our health and disregard myths about breast cancer and its procedures,” she said.
She added, “It is our hope that this project will change the narrative on breast cancer awareness.”
The Chairman of the ceremony, Deputy Head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission Ghana, Alhaji Abdul Wahab Issah, expressed worry over the attention given to breast cancer awareness and treatment in Ghana.
He stated matters concerning women are special, hence the need for government to roll out measures to intensify breast cancer awareness.
Also, he charge Tamale North MP, Alhassan Suhyini who was present at the launch to push for an increment in the NHIA levy to about 3% to cater for breast cancer treatments.