Rebecca Akufo-Addo (left) receiving the citation from Prof. Lorna Awo Renner, President, Childhood Cancer Society of Ghana
Rebecca Akufo-Addo (left) receiving the citation from Prof. Lorna Awo Renner, President, Childhood Cancer Society of Ghana

Childhood Cancer Society honours First Lady

The Childhood Cancer Society of Ghana (CCSG) has honoured the First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, for her contribution and dedication to the welfare of children with cancer in the country.


The First Lady was presented with a citation, a bouquet and a certificate of a Lifetime Membership to the society.

Presenting the award at the CCSG’s third Annual General and Scientific Meeting in Accra last Friday, the President of the society, Professor Lorna Awo Renner, said Mrs Akufo-Addo was being recognised for single-handedly constructing a mother’s hostel, known as the Sunshine Hostel, at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), among others.

The hostel is a safe haven and a place of rest for mothers who have to spend their time at the KBTH to take care of their children who are suffering from cancer and are receiving treatment.

Prof. Renner, who described the First Lady as a perfect role model in the 21st century, said she had given a major boost to the country’s health system through her philanthropic works, including the construction of a Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the KBTH and a Mother and Baby Unit at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).

Scientific meeting

Earlier, at the opening of the Scientific meeting, held on the theme: “Improving paediatric cancer care in low and medium income countries: Lessons learnt”, the Special Advisor on Health to the President, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, said with Ghana having become a World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer Focus country, it would achieve at least 60 per cent survival for all children affected by cancer by 2030.

He said despite all the achievements over the past decade in the area of childhood cancer care, there was still a lot to be done and, therefore, called on all stakeholders and policymakers to come together to achieve the CCSG vision of “Cure for all Children affected by cancer in Ghana”.

The Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, who chaired the opening ceremony, said there was a lot to be done for children in the area of quality health care in the country.

He said there was the need to achieve at least 80 per cent of survival rates among cancer children with the right measure put in place which included human resource constraints, the abandoning of treatment along the way by parents of cancer children and the need for a cancer registry to direct national policies.

A Paediatric Oncologist at the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Indian, Dr Girish Chinnaswamy, who gave a virtual keynote address, expressed the hope that by 2030, the global cure rate for childhood cancer would increase from 37.1 per cent to 60 per cent.

He mentioned some barriers across the world to include political, socio-cultural, educational and medical, which he said needed to be addressed by countries to help them move forward in childhood cancer care.

Panel discussion

In a panel discussion, the panellists called for a strategic partnership to ensure that there was adequate medication in treatment facilities for cancer children, and also called for an enabling environment, capacity building for primary health care providers on childhood cancer, as well as networking and partnership to quicken access to health care.

The panellists included Dr Laveana Gyimah (WHO), Dr Efua Commey (GHS), Dr Vivian Panstil, Leticia Amengor and Paul Obeng all of KATH, as well as Akua Sarpong (Executive Director, Lifeline for Childhood Cancer Ghana).

They also, among other things, called for a national fund for children with cancer that would provide support to parents and caregivers on the things that the NHIS could not offer, such as transportation, nutrition and accommodation.  

Writer’s email:[email protected]

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