As part of its strategy for improving breast cancer patients’ care and clinical research, Peace and Love Hospital (PLH) has upgraded its hospital-based cancer registry to a population-based one using Kumasi city as the reference population.
However, in order to sustain the updated registry, Peace and Love Hospital invited two cancer registry experts from the United States of America (USA) to train its staff on the state-of-the-art cancer reporting software for identifying, abstracting, coding, and staging cases of cancer seen at PLH as well as managing the valuable research database.
Both John W. Morgan DrPH, CPH, Professor at Loma Linda University (LLU) School of Public Health who is also an Epidemiologist at SEER Cancer Registry of Greater California and California Cancer Registry, and Principal Investigator LLU-SEER Contract and Rebecca Cassady, RHIA, CTR, Director of Desert Sierra Cancer Surveillance Program (DSCSP), Director of Region 5 of the California Cancer Registry (CCR), and Director of Cancer Research at Loma Linda University Cancer Center led the one week training program, September 12-19, 2014.
The visiting team was warmly received by Dr. (Mrs.) Beatrice Wiafe-Addai and the staff of both Peace and Love Hospital and Breast Care International (BCI) who escorted them to participate in a mini durbar where the majority of the PLH and BCI staff, members of Peace and Love Survivors Association (PALSA), the Media, and representation from the community were assembled.
In attendance also was Professor Seth Wiafe; a USA based Ghanaian lecturer and research scientist at Loma Linda University who is currently in Ghana conducting research on breast cancer.
In her welcoming remarks, Dr. Wiafe-Addai, Chief Executive Officer of Peace and Love Hospitals in Accra and Kumasi and President of BCI presented an overview of the increasing rates of mortality and prevalence of breast cancer in Ghana, which is compounded by myths and misconceptions about the disease and the efforts of her two organizations in preventing and controlling the disease.
According to Dr. Wiafe-Addai, although Ghana has no national cancer registry to estimate the actual disease burden, upgrading Peace and Love Hospital’s cancer registry will help maintain data on all patients diagnosed and/or treated for cancer at the hospital, advance the process of local cancer surveillance, and eventually contribute to the development of a national cancer registry. Speaking about the American cancer experts, Dr. Wiafe-Addai says: “ We are very excited about this all important cancer registry project. I am very sure that your great expertize, dedication, and concern will bring so much improvement in our breast cancer management and research activities.”
Commenting on the training, Rebecca Cassady RHIA, CTR, observed that what PLH has invested in producing strong human and technical capacity in cancer registration would go a long way to provide a more accurate picture of the breast cancer burden than using a few hospital mortality and morbidity data to determine cancer prevalence for the entire country.
On his part, Professor Morgan appreciated all the good work Peace and Love Hospital and Breast Care International are doing to make a difference in the lives of Ghanaian communities.
About Peace and Love Hospitals and Breast Care International
Registered in Ghana as a limited liability company, Peace and Love Hospitals, operates as a specialist private health care facility located at Oduom, Kumasi with a branch in Accra on the Spintex Road.
The hospital manages and offers treatment specifically in breast related challenges including breast cancer. Additionally, the hospital undertakes clinical breast screening exercises, diagnosis, treatment, counselling, rehabilitation and research into various breast pathologies. The hospital has been granted accreditation by the National Health Insurance Authority as a healthcare provider. The hospital offers several services including general health care delivery, gynaecology, Ultrasonography, medical laboratory services, renal dialysis, eye care, blood bank and a strong research department.
Breast Care International, is a non-governmental organization dedicated to educating women about early detection of cancer and access to breast health care throughout Ghana by providing the country's women with: free clinical breast examination, education, diagnosis, counseling, treatment, rehabilitation, and research.
Since 2002, more than 500 thousand women have been screened for breast health issues through these initiatives. For more information, visit http://www.breastcareghana.com/.
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