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A section of the participants. Inset: Dr Elijah Abakah-Quansah, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the SDA Hospital, Sunyani
A section of the participants. Inset: Dr Elijah Abakah-Quansah, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the SDA Hospital, Sunyani

Avoid multiple sexual partners to prevent cervical cancer - Women advised

An Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the SDA Hospital, Sunyani, Dr Elijah Abakah-Quansah, has advised women, especially young girls, to avoid keeping multiple sexual partners, since it was the major cause of contracting cervical cancer.


The disease, he said, was mainly transmitted through sexual intercourse and advised women to constantly undergo screening for early detection and vaccination.

He gave the advice when over 70 female staff and tenants of the Sunyani Regional Office of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) went through a day's seminar on cervical cancer to enhance their knowledge of the disease and its devastating effect on their health.

He explained that the disease was serious because it was the second-highest or most common cause of cancer in women and could frustrate patients.

The seminar, which was organised in collaboration with the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Hospital in Sunyani, was aimed at helping them detect the disease at its initial stage to avoid complications.

Additionally, the seminar was aimed at encouraging women to cultivate the habit of undergoing regular screening for early detection and vaccination against the disease.

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It was also to remind the public, particularly women, that though the World Health Organisation (WHO) has designated January each year for awareness creation on cervical cancer, education on the disease should be a daily issue. 

Not death sentence

Speaking to journalists after the seminar last Wednesday, Dr Abakah-Quansah said contracting cervical cancer was not a death sentence.

He explained that the disease was curable, as several victims had been treated at the hospital and other facilities across the country.

A section of the participants

A section of the participants

“We had cases that had been treated here in Sunyani.

It is not a death sentence, especially if you diagnose it early, we can do surgery to give you a cure.

 Even if we found it at an advanced stage, there is still treatment or management for it,” he said.

Alarming

Dr Abakah-Quansah said the increasing number of cases recorded at the facility was alarming and, therefore, must be a concern to all.

He said on the average, the facility alone recorded 15 cases every year, explaining that last week alone, the facility recorded four cases of cervical cancer.

Dr Abakah-Quansah said the cases were likely to increase drastically because health facilities and other organisations and institutions had intensified their education and screening.

He said the number of women who reported to the facility with suspected cases had also increased drastically due to the education.

National policy

Dr Abakah-Quansah expressed the need for the Ministry of Health to develop a national policy for free vaccination and screening for women and girls and to include its treatment in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

He said in normal circumstances, women were expected to be screened for the disease between every three and five years, depending on the type of screening or testing.

He appealed to health institutions to increase awareness of the disease to attract the public attention to its devastating effect.

Little attention

For his part, the Administrator of the Sunyani COCOBOD, Michael P. K. Asumanu, said he initiated the seminar because cervical cancer was a bane to many women.

He said some of them were not aware of the disease, including its signs and symptoms and expressed the hope that the seminar would help to increase their knowledge of the disease. 

Mr Asumanu said research had indicated that the disease was one of the major causes of death among women and girls.

He commended the SDA Hospital for partnering with COCOBOD to school the staff about the devastating effects and the signs and symptoms of the disease.

Mr Asumanu encouraged men to support their wives and daughters to undergo screening and vaccination.

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