Background and Context: African Cancer Organisation (ACO) seeks to establish a Cancer Information Service (CIS) Centre in Accra, Ghana. The CIS will offer information about cancer and support services to cancer patients, families and friends, general public and health care professionals. The whole idea is to promote primary prevention of cancer and early detection through culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate cancer information, awareness and education programs. The project will navigate people to appropriate centers for further management and support.
Aim: The goal of the project is to ensure that every Ghanaian who is eligible has access to free and confidential cancer information service. The project will establish the needed infrastructure and also build capacity of personnel required to provide cancer information service to the public.
Trained information specialists will provide a one-on-one interaction by either telephone, e-mail, instant messaging or in person visit. The service will be free and confidential. The project involves setting up an office, distributing materials to educate the public about cancer, prevention, risk factors, sign and symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and life after cancer. This we believe will help prevent people from getting exposed to avoidable cancer risk factors and also help downstage cancers by early-detecting the disease at stages where cure is often possible.
There is solid evidence that making cancer information available and diagnosing it at an early stage will reduce deaths from cancer, and the success of interventions intended to detect cancer at an early stage greatly depends on education and awareness and sensitivity to the needs, beliefs and unique circumstance of the target population.
Outcomes/What was learned: Scaling up prevention and early diagnosis is the most cost-effective ways of dealing with cancer in Africa. ACO is by this looking for partners to collaborate to establish and sustain the CIS.