Ghana has no specialized oncology nursing school to train students, BCI has introduced a nurses training program for selected general nurses across the country to professionally equip them both in theory and practice in the modern management of breast cancer and other cancers in their health institutions. It is anticipated that upon successful completion of the training, he participants would be able to better educate members in their communities on the prevention of some types of cancers, self-detection of symptoms of breast cancer, the importance of early detection, and how and when to refer suspected cases to the appropriate health institutions.
There exists, therefore, a serious need to provide education and training to women in their community so that they can effectively promote the need for screening by trained medical professionals. In response to the low awareness rate of breast cancer among Ghanaians, Breast Care International (BCI) proposed to train women as community breast health promoters for breast cancer. To ensure that appropriate participants were targeted for this program, voluntary women were from the Presbyterian Pastor’s Wives Association of Ghana, which has presbyteries across the country.
Three consecutive workshops were conducted in Kumasi, Accra, and Koforidua to ensure that all the presbyteries were covered. The purpose was to train women to acquire basic breast health knowledge to act as voluntary promoters who will engage their local communities by encouraging appropriate-aged women to seek breast cancer screening by trained health care professionals. The program was supported by Inter-commercial Impex Ltd, the company behind Forever Easy and Yofi sanitary products and Roche Pharmaceuticals.
Extending its vision of promoting early detection of breast cancer in local communities, BCI Ghana in collaboration with Peace and Love Hospital organized the first workshop to train volunteers as community breast health promoters on Friday, May 16, 2014, at Peace and Love Hospital, Kumasi. Nearly 70 participants who attended the workshop are selected from the Presbyterian Ministers’ Wives Association (PMWA) within the Upper, Northern, West Bono, Brong-Ahafo, Ashanti, Sekyere, Asante Akyem, Kwahu, and Sehwi Presbyteries. This was the first of its kind in the country.