AngloGold Ashanti (Iduapriem Gold) Mine has held a durbar to commemorate the 2018 breast cancer awareness month at Tanka in the Western Region on the theme “Early detection and effective treatment save life”.
The durbar, which is in collaboration with Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal Health Directorate of the Ghana Health Services and Hope for All Foundation attracted hundreds of women from the company’s catchment area as well as female employees’, queen mothers, students from the basic and senior high schools, workers wives association and dependents among others.
The Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is marked in countries across the world every October; It helps to increase attention and support for the awareness, early detection and treatment as well as palliative care for women with breast cancer.
According to estimates at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, it is projected that over 4,600 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2018, out of which close to 1,800 deaths will occur in Ghana.
Mr. Samuel Bonney Noi, Acting Managing Director of AngloGold Ashanti Iduapriem Mine Limited said “We launched the month-long commemoration on October 9, 2018 and devoted the entire week to create awareness and educate our workforce on the disease”.
This, he said was followed with community level awareness, education and screening for women and school children; in all, a total of 1,249 people have been screened.
“We believe that by doing this, we are assisting to reduce the dangers of the disease among our employees, dependents and host communities” he said.
Mr. Noi noted that currently, there is not sufficient knowledge on the causes of breast cancer, therefore, early detection of the disease remains key, to the control of the disease.
“When breast cancer is detected early, and if adequate treatment is available, there is a good chance that the disease can be cured. You will all agree with me that the illness or death of a woman has serious and far-reaching consequences for the socio-economic wellbeing of her children, family and community” he added.
Mrs. Cynthia Odoom-Wilson, Physician Assistant and Occupational Health Practitioner at Sam Jonah Hospital mentioned that 76 out of the 1,249 people examined within the communities in the company’s operational area, were diagnosed of breast lump, breast discharge, breast discolour, change in shape among others.
According to her, referral forms have been given to them to seek treatment at the Tarkwa Government Hospital.
She explained that AngloGold Ashanti Iduapriem Gold Mine will do a follow up to see their state and encourage women to do self-examination on their breast regularly.
Dr. Kwesi Annor, Resident Medical Doctor at the Sam Jonah Hospital added that “today, we are screening 600 people made up of the company’s employees and their dependents.
“This is the second edition of breast screening by AngloGold Ashanti and we have broaden the net by adding cervical cancer screening” he added.
“The purpose is to help our females stay healthy at work; as a company we believe in women empowerment, diversity and inclusion, we want to ensure that women are active in our operation which has a bearing on productivity” he added.
Madam Juliana Asiedu, Senior Midwifery Officer at the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Ghana Health Services added that the most common cancer among women is breast cancer.
She explained that although the actual cause of breast cancer is unknown, there are certain risk factors.
She mentioned some of the risk factors as family history, race, and breast density, menstruation at an early or late ages, personal history, alcohol intake, use or oral contraceptive for too long among others.
She encouraged women to visit the clinics or hospitals regularly to check on their breast to know their status.