The African Cancer Organisation, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), has called for support to establish a Ghana National Population-Based Cancer Registry (GPCR) to enhance control of the disease in the country.
The Registry seeks to abstract data on persons with cancer in order to provide complete, accurate and timely cancer report for interventional programmes.
A statement issued in Accra by Mr Paul Opoku Agyemang, the Executive Director of the Organisation, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Tuesday, said countries required cancer surveillance to collect and analyse data on the scale of burden in each country.
These are urgently needed in Ghana as cancer data sources are scarce.
The statement said the goal of the Registry is to collect, store and analyse data on persons with cancer to generate incidence, prevalence, trends, mortality, and survival rates required to help develop a realistic, sustainable and comprehensive cancer control plan for Ghana.
The data could also help to evaluate the impact of prevention, early detection and screening, treatment effectiveness, and palliative care programmes, it said.
Even though the National Population-based Cancer Registry is being implemented in some health facilities in the country and facilitated by an International Agency for Research on Cancer, it is important to cover all the administrative regions in the middle, northern and southern parts of Ghana.
The statement said the Registry intended to capture cancer cases diagnosed and/or treated within Ghana to facilitate cancer policy development and programme evaluation.
“Such information would guide us to monitor patient care, prioritise and allocate resources effectively, and act as a driver for policy development for the urgent need of comprehensive cancer control in Ghana as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO),” the statement said.
It said though challenging, it was possible with a new mind-set, tool-set and skill-set to take advantage of available modern technology to produce complete, accurate and timely results.
“This can only be done with a good budget and working plan backed by dedication,” the statement said.
It called for partnerships to raise the needed resources to embark on the agenda to help understand the issues well as far as controlling cancer in Ghana and Africa were concerned.