The country is said to record over 16,000 cases of cancer annually due to excessive smoking, drinking of alcohol, obesity and other factors. This was revealed at a three day workshop at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital to train health workers on palliative care treatment. Palliative care treatment is any medical care that concentrates on reducing the severity of disease symptoms, rather than striving to halt or reverse progression of the disease itself or provide a cure. The three day workshop was in line with Ghana’s plan to control non-communicable disease with particular reference to cancer due to its prevalence rate in the country. The workshop was sponsored by the Ghana Health Service, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (specialist on cancer care) and Africa and Oxford Group (Afrox) UK. Speaking with the Times newspaper after the opening ceremony, Mr. Michael J. Fisch from Afrox said palliative care is an approach to improve the quality of life of patients facing problems associated with severe pain. He said palliation seeks to relieve serious chronic illnesses and other distressing symptoms using medical and other non-medical methods such as psychological and spiritual methods, neither hastening nor postponing death. Mr. Justine Amery also from Afrox stated that children are more sensitive to pain than adults adding that palliative treatment reduces the trauma that children go through. A consultant anesthetist, Professor Gladys Amponsah said, children at early ages are diagnosed of cancer due to the enhancement of health facilities and awareness created by the Ghana Health Service.
Source: Ghanaian Times