The President of Cancer Voices, Ghana, Dr Raphael Nyarkotey Obu has proposed the setting up of a National Cancer Foundation to reduce the impact of cancer in the country.
According to him the proposed Foundation should be a special project under the office of the First Lady.
The Foundation, he said, should be a charitable organization working to reduce cancer in the community while assisting those already affected by cancer.
Dr Obu said this in an interview with the Daily Graphic after re had returned from Nigeria on a cancer awareness programme where he was given a special award for his contribution to the reduction of the impact of cancer in Nigeria.
Primary focus of Foundation
Throwing more light on the functions of the proposed foundation he said its primary focus should be to reduce the impact of cancer in the community by providing accommodation and financial support for cancer patients and their families during treatment as well as improving cancer prevention through education and encouraging early testing to improve treatment effectiveness.
The Foundation, he said, should also be in the position to provide funding for research into cancer and cancer related treatments and to provide meaningful paid work for affected individuals who were unable to get employment due to age, external obligations, mental or physical disabilities or social issues.
In addition, he said, the Foundation should establish awareness and screening centres in the various regions in the country.
LEAP support for those affected
Those aged affected by cancer, he said, should be placed on the Livelihood empowerment project (LEAP) to provide a monthly token to support them and their families.
Already, he said Cancer Voices Ghana was providing active education and information across the country but added that while the efforts of the non-governmental organization was limited, the setting up of the Foundation would provide more resources to reach out all parts of the country including remote areas.
Speaking to the issue of his motivation for his continued advocacy against cancer, he said his aim was to transform and change the cancer situation in Africa.
Dr Obu’s motivation
I am a man on a mission to stop prostate cancer before it strikes in the black community he said.
His role as a specialist in prostate cancer and a researcher, he said was to provide invaluable services to patients of diverse backgrounds and beliefs using holistic and conventional medicine.
Also as a policy maker, I want to use Medical Politics to influence decisions in Government for total holistic healing in health care. I want to see a continent where cancer treatment is not a luxury, a continent where there is national recognition of all cancers as a major health challenge and policies to address them, he added.
On Prostate Cancer
According to him, quite often there were elderly male patients in Ghana above 40 years complaining of a feeble urinary stream, hesitancy, dribbling, having to urinate frequently and urgently, feeling that they were unable to empty their bladder completely and loss of libido.
He said those observations were on the increase while little or no effort was made to raise awareness for early detection and treatment.
Eventually in Ghana, persons who retire with prostate problems spend a significant amount of their time and money on care that may be terminal or more expensive, he said.
Through his painstaking research, he said, he had come to the realization that there were defense mechanisms that could be employed in order to safeguard the larger population against cancer and its effects on families, communities and national productivity.
But those, he stressed, could be effectively disseminated to the larger populace with an amply resourced institution such as the National Cancer Foundation that he was advocating for.
About Dr. Nyarkotey
Dr. Nyarkotey was appointed Research Professor of Prostate Cancer and Holistic Medicine at Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine, Larnaca city, Cyprus at age 32years. He is the National President of the Alternative Medical Association of Ghana (AMAG) and Men’s Health Foundation Ghana, a the national peak body of prostate cancer.
He pushed for the declaration of Fathers day in Ghana as National Prostate cancer day under the previous government and played extensive role in the fight against cancers in Ghana.
He studied the first ever Master’s program in Prostate cancer organized by Sheffield Hallam University, UK and completed his Doctor of Philosophy in Holistic Medicine with research interest on Prostate cancer, screening and policies in the black community at the IBAM Academy, Kolkata, India.
He is a native from the Shai-Osudoku District of the Greater Accra Region.