[ 2017-02-16 ]
The sod-cutting ceremony marked this year’s International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD)
First Lady cuts sod for hostel at Korle Bu
The First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has cut
the sod for the construction of a three-storey
hostel to accommodate parents taking care of their
children with cancer at the Korle Bu Teaching
Hospital (KBTH) in Accra.
The project, estimated at GH¢2 million, is
expected to have 30 beds.
The sod-cutting ceremony marked this year’s
International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD), which
falls on February 15 every year.
The theme for this year is “Better Access to Care
for Children and Adolescents with Cancer
The construction of the hostel is a collaboration
between the Ghana Parents’ Association for
Childhood Cancers (GHAPACC) and the KBTH.
In Ghana, there is no comprehensive
epidemiological data on the magnitude of childhood
cancers, but according to health experts, using
estimates from incidence data in more developed
countries, about one in 500 children will be
affected by age 15.
With Ghana’s population at over 25 million, health
experts estimate that about 1,000 children below
15 years are likely to be affected yearly.
Pledging her commitment to support the project,
the First Lady said she had accepted to become an
ambassador of cancer.
She said many challenges bedevilled children with
cancer saying one of the problems was the lack of
suitable accommodation for parents while they were
at a health facility when their children were on
admission for treatment.
She said once functional, the facility would bring
relief to many parents and guardians who had to
travel several hours for the treatment of their
The First Lady, however, appealed to the
management of the hospital, saying, “Beyond
providing a hostel, we should go a step further to
consider access to well-balanced diets for the
children and their families.”
She also said as many of the children would have
to live in the facility for several months, it was
important that their educational needs were also
met. She suggested that the hostel should have
teachers assigned to the children.
The Head of the Paediatric Oncology Unit of KBTH,
Professor Lorna Awo Renner, in a presentation,
said very little was known about the causes of
She noted that many types of cancers had the
highest incidence in children at an early age,
which suggested causative factors operated before
According to her, current data showed that 37 per
cent of childhood cancer cases were lymphomas,
followed by leukaemia, eye cancers , kidney
cancers, among others.
Presently, she added that drugs for childhood
cancers were not covered by the National Health
Insurance Scheme (NHIS), calling for more
attention in that regard.
The Chairperson of GHAPACC, Dr Kwame Aveh, called
for support from corporate bodies, organisations
and philanthropists to help raise funds to build
the hostel facility.
Source - Graphic.com.gh
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