Health News of Monday, 24 February 2020
Religious leaders have been implored to use their influence to educate and empower women with breast cancer cases to utilize all sources of support available to them, both medical and religious, by directing members to seek medical treatment in hospitals first.
By so doing the church will save countless lives and prevent unnecessary suffering caused by breast cancer, the number one killer cancer among women, which is treatable and curable, thereby strengthening the very foundation of the church.
These were contained in a speech read by the President of Breast Care International (BCI), a nongovernmental organization, Dr. Mrs. Beatrice Wiafe Addai, during a stakeholder’s forum on breast cancer control held in Kumasi on Friday, February 21, 2020.
The forum, which brought together religious leaders, both traditional and clergy, was on the theme “The Role of Religion in Breast Cancer Control in Africa”, and organized by Breast Care International and Peace and Love Hospitals.
The forum climaxed the World Cancer Day, celebrated on February 4, this year, with the theme “I AM AND I WILL”, which focused on raising awareness about cancers.
Among the leaders include Bishop of the Church of England, UK, Bishop Dr. James Newcome, Dr. Mark Lodge Pietram, Executive Dir., International Network for cancer Treatment and Research, UK, and Nana Prof. Mensah Bonsu, Paramount Chief of Asakyire Traditional Area in the Ashanti region. Others are the President of the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC), Rev. Prof. Paul Yaw Frimpong Manso, General Overseer of Straightway Chapel, Rev. Dr. Ahmed Adjei and Programme Manager, Non-Communicable Disease of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Dennis Laryea.
The forum was moderated by the immediate past Bishop of the Methodist Church of Ghana, Kumasi Dioceses, Rt. Rev. Prof. Sarfo Kantanka.
“While not discounting the potency of prayers, I am convinced that women should seek medical treatment at the earliest possible signs instead of only relying on prayers. I am by extension, encouraging the clergy to first direct members who report to them with suspicious cancer cases to seek medical treatment in hospitals first” she said.
Dr. Mrs. Wiafe Addai, who is the Chairperson for the Ghana Cancer Board, also bemoaned the alarming rate of which many women will either never seek medical treatment or wait until it is too late, opting for prayer or religious ceremonies instead,
She therefore called for the need to utilize the mass influence of religion in African society and forge alliances with the religious leaders to control cancer in Africa.
“I am convinced the church can leverage on its pervasive influence and press the Government to do more for cancer diagnosis, treatment and prevention. We need religious bodies to commit more resources to the fight against the deadly, but curable disease. We must dispel misinformation, and reduce stigma together,” the CEO of Peace and Love Hospitals in Kumasi and Accra added.