The Oncology Directorate of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, is partnering the Mayo Clinic of Rochester Minnesota in the United States of America (USA), to strengthen cancer treatment and management in the West Africa sub-region.
The objective of the partnership is to provide training on cancer management in West Africa, for caregivers in oncology and other health professionals, using KATH as a training centre.
This is in line with strengthening and promoting efficient management and treatment of the disease.
Dr Ernest Baawuah Osei Bonsu, Head of the Oncology Directorate of KATH, who made this known, said a five member team from the Directorate had already visited Mayo Clinic in the USA, as part of the partnership.
He said a team from the Clinic, to be led by Professor Kenneth Merrell, a Radiation Oncologist, who was instrumental in the partnership, would also visit KATH in February this year, to concretise the partnerships.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of a ceremony to award staff of the Directorate, Dr. Osei Bonsu, said the collaboration which started about a year ago, had already seen Mayo Clinic providing training for staff and equipment for the Directorate.
He said the Directorate recorded between 850 and 1,000 new cancer cases every year.
Out of this number, 50 per cent are breast and cervical cancers.
Dr. Osei Bonsu said the major challenge facing cancer management and treatment was late reporting of the disease, adding that, 70 per cent of cases came in advanced stages.
He stressed the need for people to report cases early in order to prevent unnecessary deaths.
Dr Osei Bonsu said the collaboration with the Mayo Clinic would help sharpen the professional skills of the staff to enhance quality healthcare delivery for cancer patients.
Ten staff from the various units of the Directorate were awarded for their hardwork and dedication to duty.
They were presented with citations and other rewards.