…To Fight Cancer, Mental Diseases
Ghana’s Parliament in the coming days will enter into an unconditional partnership policy with Johnson & Johnson’s Biotech Unit to help create awareness, educate and provide screen services on cancer to Members of Parliament (MP).
The partnership, which is also billed to offer mental health diagnoses, will enable members of the august House. aged above 40 years, to regularly check their living system for early detection of cancer and its related diseases for treatment.
This was made known when officials from Johnson &Johnson Company, paid a courtesy call on the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Aaron Oquaye, in Accra yesterday.
As part of the partnership, parliament will make its facilities available for Johnson & Johnson to set up its equipment to provide regular screening of MPs and other staff in parliament.
Receiving the delegation, Prof. Mike Oquaye said health condition of MPs, as well as working staff of the parliamentary services, was of utmost importance and that the partnership to fight against cancer and mental health was timely, as cancer is becoming the number one world killer disease.
The Speaker praised Johnson & Johnson for the opportunity, stating “that parliament should be interested not for only its MPs, but the people they represented in the august House was also of much concern.”
He said, many people, though look healthy in appearance, inwardly they are not fit and that is so because they do not know.
Prof. Oquaye therefore assured Johnson & Johnson of parliament’s interest, saying when Parliament resumes, the partnership will be referred to members, especially the health committee, to work together to implement the cancer education and awareness campaign.
For him, ignorance of the existence of disease on one’s body is more dangerous than the disease itself and expressed his gratefulness for the opportunity.
Mr. Kwabena Asante Offei, Senior Manager of Johnson & Johnson, in charge of Governance Affairs and Policy in West Africa, said the partnership is part of the company’s corporate social responsibility to assist countries where it operates in the fight against disease.
He said, cancer and mental health are the only diseases with prolonged causes and the earlier they are detected the better the chance of controlling them in society.
On her part, Dr. Fafa Addo Boateng, Clinical Doctor with Johnson & Johnson, noted that the company’s aim is that doctors can use the screen tests to prescribe the right drugs to the right patients who have potential cancer.
“This partnership has the potential to deliver an unprecedented amount of clinical information from a single test,” she said, adding that cancer is becoming common and the black race in the world has been proven by study to be the most vulnerable human susceptible to the cancer disease.
She said, the earlier it is diagnosed, the better chance of controlling it completely, for cancer takes time for its symptoms to be known in human, but becomes more complicated when it does not get early treatment.
Dr. Fafa Addo Boateng said, persons of age from 40 and above are the most vulnerable to cancer and that parliament, which is the legislative arm of governance, was chosen for the partnership because, it was the believed that when the MPs take the exercise to their people in the constituencies, there is high chance of them appreciating its urgency.
Mr. Kwame Governs Agbodza, MP for Adaklu, on behalf of the Minority in Parliament, said cancer and mental health are becoming a huge problem in the country and the decision by Johnson & Johnson to partner parliamentarians to fight the canker was the best initiative ever.
For him, parliament could not function properly if majority of its members who are averagely above 40 years are not in good health, and expressed the hope that the partnership will not be a one day event but a long time one to benefit the nation as a whole.
Mr. Agbodza stated that, with cancer being a dangerous disease, members of the august House would be willing and interested in the collaboration to reduce the risk of many dying through a preventable disease.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com / Felix Engsalige Nyaaba