Don’t resort to prayer camps - breast cancer patients cautioned

BY: Timothy Ngnenbe
Don’t resort to prayer camps - breast cancer patients cautioned
Don’t resort to prayer camps - breast cancer patients cautioned

The acting Eastern Regional Director of the Department of Gender, Miss Juliana Abbeyquaye, has cautioned breast cancer patients to stop seeking health care from prayer camps when they show early signs of the disease.

She said patients should rather seek early medical care at the hospital since the disease was not caused by an enemy or spiritual powers, but rather the disease was a medical condition and could be treated medically and not spiritually.

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Education and awareness creation

“We must talk about breast cancer and ensure that education and awareness creation of the disease go down to the people. Many people claim they do not know about the disease and they are right because those of us who are informed are not talking about it,” she said.


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Ms Abbeyquaye, who is also a gender activist, gave the advice when she addressed students of the New Abirem-Afosu Senior High School and some women groups at New Abirem in the Birim North District in the Eastern Region last Wednesday.

The programme was organised by the Department of Gender in the Eastern Region in collaboration with the Birim North District Health Directorate and the Divine Mother and Child Foundation, a non-governmental organisation.

A number of students and other participants were screened as part of this year’s campaign to mark the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month celebrated in October to increase awareness of the disease and to help those affected by the disease to go through early detection, education and support services. This year’s October Breast Cancer Awareness Month was on the theme: “Care Beyond October.

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Appeal

She said attributing the cause of the disease to any super natural powers was very outrageous and could not be accepted, stressing, “I am not against visiting prayer camps for help, but you should report to the hospital first anytime you find something unusual with the breasts for early diagnosis and treatment.”

Ms Abbeyquaye said the alarming rate at which women were dying of breast cancer and other breast-related diseases in the country made it necessary for all females, particularly the youth, to undergo screening irrespective of their health status.

She explained that breast cancer patients could live longer if the disease was detected early and urged women not to panic anytime they were diagnosed with the disease.

Encouragement

The midwife in - charge of Nkwateng Health Centre near New Ebirem, Mr Revival Owusu Antwi, encouraged all female students to inculcate the habit of self examination of their breasts to first identify early symptoms so as to report to hospitals for further examination.

According to him, most women after identifying symptoms of the disease attributed it to a curse and rather decided to go to prayer camps for treatment and only visited the hospitals when the disease had reached an advanced stage.