An above-average number of African men contract and die from prostate cancer. To change this, the develoPPP program of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and Bayer’s “Oncology Sustainability” initiative, together with their partner, the Ghanaian Ministry of Health, have launched a prostate cancer awareness campaign under the slogan “Real Men ACT”. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the disease and help men make informed decisions about their health. In addition, the partners hope to promote public discourse on the topic of prostate cancer.
At the launch, Dr Holger Till, develoPPP health team lead, remarked that “with this awareness campaign, GIZ and Bayer AG hope men’s health will gain the needed attention and by prioritizing their personal risk management, their health outcomes will ultimately improve. At develoPPP Health, we work closely with private sector and with the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service. All activities are geared towards health systems strengthening”.
Recent data show a surge in prostate cancer incidence among Ghanaian men. In 2012, prostate cancer was the second most common cancer and rose to first place in 2015; today, it is the fourth most common cancer in both sexes (Wiafe et al., 2022). The alarming statistics call for immediate action. According to Dr. Nana Hagan, Vice President, Oncology Regulatory Strategy at Bayer, “This year, Bayer and GIZ helped equip various district hospitals in Greater Accra with testing equipment and supported a workshop on prostate cancer for healthcare providers in these district hospitals.” According to Dr. Hagan, the project has been making progress since its launch in March 2022: “I am encouraged that the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has declared to include prostate cancer treatment in the National Health Insurance Program. In addition, the GHS is supporting us in our activities.”
An early diagnose is important
Real Men ACT expresses a call to action – A represents awareness of risks and symptoms, C represents screening for cancer, and T represents treatment. Prostate cancer occurs in the prostate glands of men who are usually over 55 years old. Symptoms may include problems urinating, blood in semen or urine, erectile dysfunction, bone pain and weight loss. Like any other cancer, if not diagnosed in the early stages, it spreads to the joints and bones and leads to death.
The campaign will be conducted in eight districts in Accra: Accra Metropolitan, Ayawaso East, Weija-Gbawe, Ga West, Shai Osudoku, Ashiaman, Kpone Katamanso, and Lekma. The initiative includes a series of activities with Reggie Rockstone as the campaign ambassador. Planned activities include community events, workshops, and health discussions on various media platforms. The approach ensures that a broad cross-section of the population is reached. The campaign informs people about prostate cancer symptoms and risk factors, myths and misinformation about the disease, and encourages early screening and testing at an OPD or wellness clinic..
‘Real Men ACT’ stands as a testament to the power of partnerships and collective action in combating prostate cancer in Ghana. By educating and sensitizing communities, and empowering healthcare gatekeepers with vital information, this campaign endeavors to alter the trajectory of prostate cancer, ensuring that no more lives are needlessly lost to this preventable disease.
As a provider of international cooperation services for sustainable development and international education work, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is dedicated to building a future worth living around the world. GIZ has over 50 years of experience in a wide variety of areas, including economic development and employment, energy and the environment, and peace and security. The diverse expertise of our federal enterprise is in demand around the globe, with the German Government, European Union institutions, the United Nations, the private sector and governments of other countries all benefiting from our services. We work with businesses, civil society actors and research institutions, fostering successful interaction between development policy and other policy fields and areas of activity. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is our main commissioning party.
Currently, GIZ promotes sustainable development in Ghana via about 50 programmes and projects. GIZ is boosting Ghana’s potential by focusing its projects on three priority areas: Responsibility for our planet – climate and energy, Training and sustainable growth for decent jobs as well as Peaceful and inclusive societies. Additionally, our portfolio extends to other areas such as environment, peace and security. Another focus of GIZ’s work is linking business interests with development-policy goals. Most of the programmes and projects we support in Ghana have successfully brought together national and international private companies, the public sector, and civil society groups to collaborate on development initiatives. For more information, please visit www.giz.de/ghana
About Bayer AG
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of healthcare and nutrition. They design their products and services to help people and planet thrive by supporting efforts to address the unprecedented global challenges presented by a growing and aging global population.
Bayer is committed to drive sustainable development and generate a positive impact with their businesses. Through bold ideas and unprecedented insights, Bayer is pioneering new possibilities that advance life for all of us.
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