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Ghana pushes for more treatment centres and more attention for children with Cancer

23rd Feb 2015 This year’s World Childhood Cancer day which was marked in Accra on the fifteenth of February has seen the speakers of the event issue a unanimous call for the establishment of cancer treatment centers nationwide. The speakers also requested the inclusion of childhood cancers in the disease treatment list of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

They agreed that the disease had contributed to the increase in child mortality figures, which brought up the need for it to be included to the schemes and scope of treatment as it had become a public health issue.

The theme for 2015 was “Better access to care for children and adolescents with Cancers”

Professor Lorna Renner who heads the Pediatric Oncology Unit of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, called for more availability and access to affordable and or free essential childhood cancer medication, including those for pain control. She also expressed the need for stronger palliative care and modified, less toxic therapies.

According to the Prof, childhood cancer has no borders, and is curable depending on the (various) circumstances, with survival rates dependent on factors such as the type of cancer and the country’s health system infrastructure, medical culture and socioeconomic conditions.

It has been estimated that about 250,000 children get cancer in the world annually with 80 per cent of them in developing countries.

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