A Consultant Pediatrician at the Department of Child Health, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr.
Lorna Awo Renner says when detected early, about 75 percent of childhood cancer can be cured.
Unfortunately, she admitted, that due to financial constraints, coupled with the lack of awareness of the disease and limited access to health services many children tend to lose their lives to the disease.
In an interview with “The Globe” Dr.
Renner said “only about one percent of cancers in Ghana are childhood cancers, and these children have the potential of living longer lives”.
Adding that, “the treatment for childhood cancer is not very expensive, so I am appealing to policy makers to re-consider the inclusion of the treatment of childhood cancers on the National Health Insurance Scheme”.
The Child Health Consultant stated that about one thousand two hundred children below age 15 are affected with childhood cancers in Ghana every year.
This according to her accounts for 17% of child mortality in the country.
Renner lamented, that only one hundred and fifty of these cases are reported yearly.
She explained that though childhood cancers are becoming a popular disease condition in the country, very little is known about their cause.
Some of the factors could be environmental, including effects of radiation, drugs and chemicals.
Other factors, she said result from infections by viruses such as Hepatitis B, and HIV, as wells other genetic factors which account for five per cent of childhood cancers.
Most cancer symptoms, Dr Renner indicated, include signs of the eye such as white spots, squint, blindness, bulging eye, lymph in the abdomen, head, neck and glands.
Others as she mentioned, involves neurological changes in balance, headache, fever, weight loss, bleeding, pallor, fatigue, aches in the bones and back, as well as fractures.
By Vera Asokwa Ofori/Citifmonline.com