A consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr Titus Beyuo, has called for primary prevention care against cervical cancer to be placed under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to reduce a mass loss of life to cervical cancer.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Monday, after the premiere of JoyNews’ latest documentary titled ‘Cervix in Crisis’, Dr Beyuo said, “if we rolled this out on a national level we are going to pick up people in the very early stages and deal with it [the disease].”
Four women in Ghana die daily from cervical cancer because the cancer has developed to an advanced stage.
However, cervical cancer is a highly preventable disease which has a development window of 10 to 15 years before it gets to advanced stages, providing enough time to detect and treat the cancer.
Dr Beyuo explained that either most people wait too long to report to the doctor because of rumours, spiritual beliefs about cervical cancer or they simply cannot afford the medical care.
He further explained that if the nation re-evaluates its national psyche and approach to dealing with the disease, by including vaccinations and screening under the NHIS then, the widespread cervical cancer health threat to the country’s women, can be reduced greatly.
Currently, vaccinations and screening, which are the most effective ways to detect and prevent cervical cancer are not included under the NHIS.
He also blames the lack of awareness of the condition among people, on the lack of education nationwide.
“We have a country where everything we do not understand is explained by some spiritual or religious causes. Even science, when there is scientific basis for it, we will assign religious meaning to it.
“People are in denial, people are not getting treatment and people will not come out to get support,” he said.
He criticised sections of the media that regularly disseminate believable information such as film and entertainment industries, for not including proper health education in their content.
As this month is ‘Cervical Cancer Awareness Month’, he urged all stakeholders including religious groups, civil society organisations and the government, to change the narrative on cervical cancer for public education which he believes is a step in the right direction to start dealing with the disease nationally.