National Health Insurance to cover prostate cancer in Ghana?

According to a report on JoyonLine.com, prostate cancer may soon be included in the list of diseases that are covered by national health insurance in Ghana.

Treatment of prostate cancer is not currently covered by the national health insurance scheme, but recent data suggest that there are about 200 cases of prostate cancer for every 100,000 men. Ghanaian National Health Insurance already covers  care for women with breast cancer and Dr. Lydia Dsane-Selby, the Director of Clinical Audit, is quoted as suggesting that an amendment could be made in an ongoing review to include prostate cancer. “If the ministry or Parliament decides that this is a major health problem for Ghanaians, they will make the necessary amendment,” she added.

Ghanaian medical officer recommends testing for prostate cancer

According to a report from the Ghana News Agency last Friday, Dr. Alfred Adjei of the Volta River Authority Hospital is encouraging men aged 40 to have appropriate tests for risk of prostate cancer. Early detection enables patients to be treated effectively, before the cancer can spread, while later detection may mean that the cancer has already spread beyond the prostate gland.

Dr. Adjei appealed to women to encourage their husbands, fathers, and other men to get tested annually for this form of cancer.

Beware of what you may read!

An article online in The East African on Saturday could be misleading for African men.

This article states that, “The blood test used to screen for prostate cancer saves very few lives. And it leads to risky and unnecessary treatments for large numbers of men, two studies have found.” And this statement is true … in America and Europe, where the two studies were carried out, and where PSA testing has been widespread for 20 years.

However, the situation in Africa is very different. For starters, the risk for prostate cancer among black Africans appears to be higher than it is even for African Americans. Second, most Africans have not been being tested for prostate cancer for the past 20 years. It would be completely inappropriate to apply the results of these two studies to men on the African continent at this time.

Major screening initiative starts up in Lagos, Nigeria

According to the Vanguard online, the Lagos State Government this week kicked off the second phase of a free prostate cancer awareness and screening program. This initiative is based on the premise that as many as 14 million Nigerian men may be afflicted with prostate cancer, the most common cause of cancer death in Nigerian men aged 50 and above. … READ MORE …