As part of efforts to reduce the incidence and rate of deaths from breast cancer, the Danquah Institute (DI) has issued a clarion call to fight the disease collectively, emphasising an inclusive approach to awareness creation in the country.
The Executive Director of the Danquah Institute (DI), Dr. Antoinette Tsiboe-Darko, made the call when her outfit held a breast cancer sensitisation programme to increase awareness in early detection and encourage the female inmates of the Nsawam Medium Security Prison to get screened.
The programme, which was organised in partnership with the Asaase Foundation and the Maud Lokko Breast Cancer Foundation, was dubbed, “Fighting Breast Cancer Together: An Inclusive Approach to Awareness Creation”.
With Breast Cancer Awareness Month in full swing, the DI Executive Director underscored the urgency of uniting in the battle against this formidable adversary, which was taking the lives of women.
She stressed that a united front in the fight, irrespective of where women find themselves, is the most potent weapon against the disease. “As such, being imprisoned is not an excuse for not getting checked. It is rather a reason to join in the fight by getting checked,” she noted.
Dr. Tsiboe-Darko stated that over the past three years, DI had provided a platform for dialogue and sensitization on breast cancer and other health challenges. She affirmed that this commitment is unwavering, and the Institute will not relent in its efforts to contribute to advocacy on pressing needs of the people of Ghana as part of its core mandate.
She emphasised that breast cancer is not a disease to be taken for granted and that “early detection will determine whether or not the fight against breast cancer can be won”.
She also called for intensified sensitisation efforts to equip women, especially inmates in the country’s prisons, with the requisite knowledge to fight the disease.
“This is why the Danquah Institute, by reaching out to the officers and inmates of the Nsawam Medium Security Female Prison, hopes to make an impact, create awareness, and help prevent more women from succumbing to the disease,” she indicated.
The main speaker at the programme, Mrs. Susan Tsotsoo Malik, Founder of the Maud Lokko Breast Cancer Foundation and a stage 3 cancer survivor, discussed the support provided to many women in their fight against the disease.
She stressed that the disease knows no boundaries, and its devastating impact on women continues to be felt by families and the nation. “As such, inmates who may lack the needed information needed to be engaged and participate in the event. Breast cancer requires all hands on deck,” she stated.
Mrs. Malik shared her experience with cancer with the inmates and explained the symptoms and early stages of the disease. She provided a basic understanding of the growth of cancer cells and their spread. She further explained the risk factors associated with it. She advised the inmates to adopt healthy lifestyles by exercising regularly, emphasising that this is paramount in the prevention of cancer.
She also mentioned that although cancer has no cure, early detection can improve one’s survival rate, noting that “the earlier it is detected, the better the chances of successful treatment”.
The breast cancer survivor encouraged the inmates to maintain a positive attitude toward life when living with cancer and stressed the need for strong support from healthcare providers, family, and friends in the fight against cancer.
She emphasised that the fact that prisoners find themselves confined didn’t mean they should be left out on some crucial issues of breast cancer. She encouraged all to take advantage of the screening exercise and other health checks provided by the team and her Foundation had brought. The team comprised a medical doctor and four nurses who volunteered for the day’s event
In addition, the Danquah Institute in partnership with Asaase Foundation and Maud Lokko Foundation donated toiletries, sanitary pads, T- Rolls, water and hygiene gift bags, pharmaceutical products to the female inmates’.
ADP Victoria Adzewodah (Mrs), the Officer in charge who received the donation, expressed her gratitude and appreciation to the group. She emphasised the timeliness of the donation, stating that it couldn’t have come at a better moment.
She commended the organisations for their empathy and consideration towards the welfare of the inmates, noting that such acts of kindness make a substantial difference in the lives of those in custody