Early Cancer Detection and Research Centre inaugurated at CKT-UTAS


An early cancer detection and research centre has been inaugurated at C. K. Tedam University of Technology and Applied Sciences (CKT-UTAS).

The newly inaugurated Centre is the first of its kind in the Upper East Region and is expected to significantly improve early cancer detection and treatment; starting with Breast Cancer, followed by Cervical and Liver Cancer.

Partners for Patients NGO (PFP.NGO) Switzerland, in collaboration with The Paramount Chief of the Navrongo Traditional Area, The Pan African Parliament, The Parliament of Ghana, Navrongo Health Research Centre, Tamale Cancer Centre, War Memorial Hospital, C. K. Tedam University of Technology and Applied Sciences (CKT-UTAS), 37 Military Hospital, and The Maker’s House Chapel International, inaugurated an Early Cancer Detection and Research Centre at the University Hospital of CKT-UTAS.

This inauguration marks a pivotal moment for cancer care in northern Ghana. PFP.NGO is undertaking the co-authorship of Africa’s Beating Cancer Plan model law to be submitted to the Pan African Parliament for legislative adoption. This will be localised in Ghana, bringing the community hope and advanced medical care.

By the end of the programme, over 100 participants had been screened for breast cancer. PFP.NGO’s commitment extends beyond the Cancer Centre, as it plans to collaborate and co-author the curriculum with the Schools of Medical Sciences, Agriculture and Public Health. Moreover, the group plans to establish a Teaching Hospital at CKT-UTAS. Beyond this, the team has over the years been making furniture donations to schools in the communities they operate in.

PFP.NGO is a dedicated non-governmental organisation (NGO), 100 per cent volunteer-based, 100 per cent self-funded and committed to accelerating equitable access to medicines and a timely diagnosis since 1990. PFP.NGO has significantly impacted healthcare and community well-being, serving 125,000+ patients and families over the last 3 decades.  Since its inception in 1990, PFP.NGO has brought together over 1,250 diverse volunteers from all walks of life to achieve its mission and has trained more than 3,400 physicians.

The inauguration ceremony saw a diverse assembly of stakeholders, including healthcare professionals, traditional leaders, parliamentarians, representation of management and staff of CKT-UTAS and representatives from international and local organisations.

Prof. Samson Abagale, Pro Vice-Chancellor of CKT-UTAS, welcomed the distinguished guests on behalf of the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Albert Luguterah, and provided a brief background on how this partnership will benefit the University and its various stakeholders.

He deeply thanked Mr. Kenneth Akibate (The Pan African Parliament, South Africa). As the main architect of this partnership, Mr. Akibate’s unwavering dedication and commitment have been instrumental in fostering the introduction and convening the collaboration between PFP.NGO and CKT-UTAS.

Prof. Abagale further emphasised the University’s commitment to supporting the Early Cancer Detection and Research Centre and other collaborative programmes with PFP.NGO.

The Paramount Chief of the Navrongo Traditional Area, Pe Denis Belinia Aniakwa Adda Asapare II, expressed his delight at establishing the Early Cancer Detection and Research Centre. He praised PFP.NGO for its efforts and pledged the Traditional Council’s support for PFP.NGO’s programmes. The Chief highlighted the critical need for early breast cancer screening to ensure timely and effective treatment.

Roche Ghana, represented by its General Manager Dr. Kgothatso Motumi, was one of the notable sponsors at the event. Dr Motumi expressed Roche’s commitment to support PFP.NGO’s vision is to ultimately establish a cancer research and treatment centre from this project. She further urged members of the general public to get screened for early detection and treatment.

Echoing the call for early screening for breast cancer, Dr. Abdul Rashed Timtoni Iddrisu, the only oncologist at the Cancer Centre at the Tamale Teaching Hospital, reiterated the importance of early cancer detection as the most cost-effective and life-saving measure in medicine. He noted that the average age of breast cancer patients in the northern regions is 39 years, with 70 to 80 per cent of cases presenting at advanced stages, making treatment more challenging and costly. Dr. Timtoni commended PFP.NGO’s initiative in establishing the Cancer Research Centre.

Dr. Mimi Choon-Quinones (Switzerland), PFP.NGO Founder & Chairwoman (Pro-Bono), and PFP.NGO volunteers Christina Sanguinetti (Canada), Toni Dolmaya (Canada), David Owusu (Ghana), and Spencer Gibbs (Canada) conveyed their heartfelt gratitude to all partners and sponsors for the opportunity to serve patients together in solidarity.

Dr. Choon-Quinones was particularly impressed by the screening turnout, demonstrating a heightened awareness of early detection as a great start. The event’s collaborative spirit was so inspiring to her and the team. Prior to the inauguration of the Centre, PFP.NGO met with Members of the Ghanaian Parliament in Accra and received the endorsement of all 15 MPs in the catchment area.

PFP.NGO donated and installed a telemedicine unit to facilitate remote consultations by Dr. Timtoni, enhancing the Centre’s service capabilities across all six referral hospitals, which will also receive telemedicine technology donations from the team within the next 12 months. The digital telemedicine connection directly into Navrongo will undoubtedly be a game changer in cancer care delivery, addressing patients’ travel burden and the socio-economic aspects of a cancer diagnosis.

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