The President and Founder of Breast Care International (BCI), Dr Beatrice Wiafe Addai, has cautioned against the current reticence of civil society and policy-makers on the rampaging effects of breast cancer on the poor and vulnerable in society.
The leadership of the continent’s foremost, not for profit, pro-poor health charity, says the continued inaction and the communication gap are being exploited by quacks and other untrained hands, further compounding the already precarious situation.
“We are becoming numb to breast cancer mortality statistics as another new normal, a trend which must be resisted in protection of our women by highlighting the myriad of challenges associated with the disease and the need to fight it, head-on,” she stressed.
She cautioned against justifying the apparent neglect on economic hardships, saying there could be no better time to help the poor and needy than in hard times.
BCI, however, singled the media out for praise and commended survivors, who continue to endure the disease under the stress of covid-19 and its attendant drawbacks.
Speaking to the media in Accra, a visibly-worried Dr Addai said sustained awareness creation remained the most potent tool against the disease which has “resisted scientific knowledge and research about its exact antecedents, except to say alcohol consumption, sedentary lifestyle, cigarette smoking and known family history, largely predispose women to the condition.”
She said ignorance is a huge impediment in the awareness creation chain and wondered why so much continues to be invested in other conditions while innocent indigent breast cancer women die needlessly by the day, especially in rural Ghana.
“The charity is interested in maximising opportunities for the collective good of cancer patients, particularly breast cancer survivors.”
Dr Addai added: “BCI is resilient and refuses to be outdone by challenges posed by COVID-19, hence, the decision to keep the awareness creation campaign alive all year long in order to ameliorate the living conditions of our patients and survivors”.
“We consider health as a corporate affair which imposes a responsibility on governments, corporations, associations, partnerships, and high worth individuals to contribute generously, for the welfare of the vulnerable, breast cancer patients and survivors, inclusive,” she added.
She commended corporate entities, multinationals and individuals who in diverse ways contributed towards the successful, two fundraising events organised by the Charity in Accra and Kumasi.
“We cannot yield the entirety of our health budget to covid-19, whilst other similarly fatal diseases are neglected. We are calling for equal attention and equal opportunity for breast cancer patients who continue to endure indignities though the disease is both curable and survivable,” she concluded.