Bono Minister stresses need for policy to make breast screening accessible 

By Benjamin Akoto

Sunyani, Oct. 27, GNA – Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister has suggested the need for Ghana Health Service (GHS) to formulate a policy to facilitate easy access to health facilities for breast screening by the public. 

”This can help for timely diagnosis of breast cancer to ensure its prevention, comprehensive treatment and supportive care”, she said. 

Mad. Owusu-Banahene made the call in a speech read on her behalf at a day’s Multi-Stakeholders Breast Cancer Awareness Creation with Impact durbar on the theme ”Creating Breast Cancer Awareness and Early Detection: Stakeholders Roles and Responsibilities” at the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) in Sunyani. 

It was organised by the UENR Ladies Association in collaboration with the Sunyani Regional Hospital (SRH) and participants included Ladies’ Associations of UENR, Police, Prison and Fire Services, nurses and other stakeholders. 

She said it had become essential as a region to raise awareness through intensive education about breast cancer to prevent the rate of affecting family members, since the Regional Minister added the disease was becoming a great public health challenge among women in the country. 

”With about 2,900 cases occurring annually and one-eighth of victims dying from it, the disease has become the most common cancer-related death among Ghanaian women”, Mad. Owusu-Banahene stated.  

She therefore encouraged stakeholders to make a difference by rising above the challenge of buying a mammogram machine for the SRH because “it is a private health facility that has the machine in the entire Bono Region”. 

Mad. Owusu-Banahene said the initiative to raise funds in support of buying a mammogram machine was timely because it would support many women within the age bracket of 45-55 years to get an early detection, diagnosis and early treatment. 

Giving data on breast cancer cases at SRH, Dr. Frank Owusu, Senior Specialist Head of Accident and Emergency Department at the hospital said from 2017 till date 539 breast lump cases had been reported, but 115 of those cases were confirmed breast cancer, representing 21 per cent. 

He said 89 cases of breast lumps were reported in 2017 and 13 representing 14 per cent were confirmed breast cancer whereas 64 cases were reported in 2018 and seven signifying 10 per cent were breast cancer.  

In 2019, he continued 122 lump cases with 53 confirmed breast cancer, representing 43 per cent were reported, while 69 lump cases with nine indicating 13 per cent were reported in 2020. 

Dr. Owusu said 86 cases were recorded in 2021 with 11 confirmed breast cancers that represented 13 per cent, adding that 109 cases had been reported now this year with 22 cases of breast cancers forming 20 per cent of those cases.