A project that is seeking to consciously empower men to fight against the rising cases of breast cancer in Ghana has been launched. The newly launched campaign has a clarion call on all men to join the fight against the deadly disease.
Dubbed; Men In Arms Against Breast Cancer Initiative (MIAA) the project seeks to develop and demonstrate practical models that would improve the access of early detection and treatment of breast cancers in women through the help of men.
The “MIAA” the Breast initiative organised by the Baby Kaafo Organisation and Impact 360 International, hinges on creating awareness of the disease by building the capacity of a 100,000 men across the country with skills in massaging the breast of their partners to promote the early detection of any irregularities in the breasts.
Previously mammograms were used to check breasts of women to detect lumps but men are now being advised to consciously use their hands as arms to fight and check for irregularities in the breast of their partners to enable them seek early detection from the disease.
Breast Cancer awareness month
A month-long series of activities for the initiative will start in October, which is the month set aside for awareness and the promotion of the detection of breast cancer.
It will include training, workshops, seminars, a paint the breast art show, media engagements, among others, to teach young men and married men about the breast, and how it should be handled to detect and fight the disease.
The training will be embarked upon across the country at workplaces, churches, among others, where health professionals will take men through procedures on how to identify lumps or unusual changes in the breasts of their partners.
Already, some of the activities, particularly with the trainees, have been piloted with the participants in Takoradi, Hohoe and with members of the rotary club in Accra.
The Founder of the Baby Kaafo Organisation and creative lead of the initiative, Joseph Narnor, said the initiative was to ensure that men effectively protected what they loved from the disease.
“We want to empower the hands of men and train them to be MIAA experts in ensuring that they protect what they love, which is the breast, from being affected by the cancer through their regular examinations, whether through romance or conscious examinations”, he emphasised.
He encouraged men to advise their partners to seek medical care once they noticed any lumps in order to reduce the risk of getting breast cancer.
Mr Narnor indicated that the activities scheduled for the MIAA the Breast Cancer Initiative were going to be both in person and virtual sessions to actively ensure that the high mortality recorded by cancer was reduced.
The Director for Allied Health at the Ministry of health, Dr Ignatius Awinibuno, stated that breast cancer was the most common cancer in the world among women hence it had become imperative for behavioural change and other interventions to reduce the risk of getting the disease.
He stated that the primary and most significant antidote to reducing the cancer was the creation of public awareness for early detection and medical intervention before the cancers advanced with a poor prognosis.
“It is an open secret that men are the second highest category of persons who handle the breast, and therefore, empowering them is a powerful weapon in the global fight against breast cancer”
Mr Awinibuno added that a general call for allocating more resources in order to train more men and women to create awareness for early detection of breast cancers was therefore in order and should be supported.
A general surgeon at Nyaho Medical Centre, Dr Romeo Hussey, lauded the initiative for empowering men in the fight against breast cancer as he explained that it created a shared responsibility between both partners in ensuring that suspicious changes in the breast were quickly investigated.
While commending the interventions of the government for making some chemotherapy agents accessible, he urged for the inclusion the diagnosis of breast cancer as part of the services covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme.
This, he said, would go a long way to reduce the financial burden of treating breast cancers in the country.