Ghana records 60,000 cancer cases every year – Dr Joel Yarney

Dr Joel Yarney, the Head of the Medical Centre for Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, has said about 60, 000 cancer cases are recorded by the country annually. 

He said out of this figure 2,500 were breast cancer cases, and this requires that urgent action be taken to ensure prevention and treatment.

Dr Yarney, who chaired the opening ceremony of the second Ghana-Norway Summer School in Medical Physics and Radiology education which opened in Accra, said non-communicable diseases were on the increase, and commended the organisers of the programme for the initiative to address the problem through the enhancement of human resource capacities.

He said the week-long School, held under the theme: “Radiological Imaging for Breast Diseases (Benign and Malignant): Diagnosis and Management”, was being organised under the auspices of the Graduate School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences (SNAS), University of Ghana, in collaboration with a team of Lecturers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the St. Olav’s University Hospital and other institutions from both Ghana and Norway.

It was, however, being coordinated by the Ghana Society of Medical Physics, for the 40 participants from countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Namibia and Norway, whose capacities would be enhanced in areas such as Radiological imaging of the Breast, X-ray Mammography Physics, Mammography X-ray Equipment design and shielding, and Patient Dose Assessment in Mammography.

Other areas such as knowledge on the Optimisation of Patient Dose and Radiation Protection in Mammography, Quality Control and Quality Assurance of Breast Imaging devices, as well as Breast Cancer Screening and all related issues would also be updated, Dr Yarney said.

He said the training is expected to enhance the quality of health care and services for improved wellbeing of patients and the public both in the participating countries and beyond, and further strengthen networking as well as knowledge sharing among the participants.

Professor Yaw Serfor-Armah, the Dean of the Graduate School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences, said the Summer School would be accredited six continuous Professional Development Credit Points by the Allied Health Professional Council of Ghana.

He said the Summer School, which is one of the projects under the Norwegian Partnership Programme for Global Academic Cooperation (NORPART), was aimed at strengthening education and research between institutions in Ghana and Norway within the fields of Medical Physics, Radiation Protection and Radiography.

This, he said, is expected to result in the increase of student mobility both ways on the Masters and PhD level, as well improve the movement of academic staff and students between the partner institutions in the form of exchange programmes.

He said SNAS, which was jointly established by the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission and the University of Ghana, and in cooperation with the International atomic Energy Agency, was designated as an AFRA/IAEA Regional Centre of Excellence for Professional and Higher Education in Nuclear Science and Technology in September 2009 and Radiation Protection in October 2011.

Prof Serfor-Armah said based on its excellent record it was further designated as an AFRA/IAEA Regional Designated Centre for Education in Medical Physics, and also provided Post Graduate University education and training for prevention and enhancement of nuclear knowledge in Ghana and Africa.

He said SNAS considered the NORPART project very insightful and timely for the consolidation of education and training of medical physicists in Ghana and Africa, and was committed to working on the collaboration and ensure its success.  

Source: GNA

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