Delay in LEAP programme enrolment worries – Breast Cancer Advocate

The President of Breast Care International, Dr Beatrice Wiafe-Addai, is alarmed by the government’s slow pace in including breast cancer patients and those with non-communicable diseases in the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme, which aims to support vulnerable individuals. She urges prompt action to address this critical issue and ensure patients receive necessary assistance. Dr Wiafe-Addai says, breast cancer patients continue to be excluded from the LEAP programme, despite persistent advocacy efforts, leaving them to face significant financial burdens and struggle to access essential needs like medication, transportation, and basic necessities. She urges the government to enroll breast cancer patients in the LEAP programme, which would provide crucial support and relief from financial struggles.

Dr Wiafe-Addai expresses frustration that her previous discussions with the then Deputy Gender Minister, Francisca Oteng Mensah, have not yet led to action, but remains committed to advocating for this important cause. “I am worried because despite my discussions with the then Deputy Gender Minister, Francisca Oteng Mensah, to include breast cancer patients in the LEAP programme, no action has been taken yet. We will continue to advocate for this important inclusion,” she stated.

Dr Wiafe-Addai suggests a practical solution: enroll breast cancer patients currently undergoing treatment in the LEAP programme, and automatically discharge them once treatment is complete, making room for new patients in need to be enrolled, ensuring continuous support for those who require it most. Experts say breast cancer is a major global health concern, with a staggering 2 million new cases diagnosed annually. Alarmingly, it is predicted that breast cancer will become the top cause of death in women worldwide in the next ten years, emphasizing the critical need for swift action and effective strategies to combat this growing health threat.

At an event in Kumasi, Dr Wiafe-Addai highlights the plight of breast cancer survivors in Ghana, noting that many vulnerable patients face significant financial difficulties, struggling to cover medical bills, transportation costs, and nutritious food, which adversely affects their health outcomes and chances of survival. Leader of the Breast Cancer Survivors Association at Peace and Love Hospital, Vivian Gyasi Sarfo, shares similar concerns, revealing that the exorbitant costs of treatment and related expenses are forcing many members to abandon their care, highlighting the urgent need for financial support and access to affordable healthcare for breast cancer patients.

Vivian appeals for enhanced support for breast cancer patients, emphasizing the need for financial assistance to enable them to complete their treatment without interruptions, thereby increasing survival chances and saving more lives.

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