GHANA – Roche, a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics and the leading provider of cancer treatments globally, has launched a cancer treatment center at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital (CCTH) for accessible and effective cancer care in the Region and beyond.

It is the first of three cancer centers to be established by Roche, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health to provide and promote effective and efficient cancer care and bring treatment closer to the door steps of people affected with the disease.

The launch coincided with the donation of a cold room for the Hospital to aid proper storage of life saving medication and blood and serum samples.

Mr. Philip Anderson, the Country Manager of Roche, pledged the organization’s preparedness to work with the Ministry to deliver cancer care at key hospitals across the country with the goal of bridging geographic access barriers to quality cancer care and supporting capacity development and training of health care providers to offer expertise services.

He said access to quality health care for cancer patients was a major concern to Roche, hence its partnership with the Government to improve provision for better care delivery to cancer patients.

Dr. Eric Kofi Ngyedu, the Chief Executive Officer of the CCTH, said the key driver of the hospital was to partner credible stakeholders to invest and help provide quality cancer services to minimize the harrowing challenges cancer patients go through to access care.

He added that the hospital found it needful to collaborate with Roche to lessen the increased risk of long travels and the physical, emotional and financial plight patients go through.

I have no doubt that this collaboration is of immense relevance in our quest for radical improvements in training, equipment supplies and installation as well as bringing cancer medicines to the door steps of our patients thus helping to improve interventions for diagnosis, treatment and service outcomes”.

Roche has long been working to improve oncology care in Ghana and in 2018 signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ghana Ministry of Health to conduct disease awareness programs; increase screening to promote early detection, establish centers of excellence and improve diagnostic facilities at treatment centers.

The pharmaceutical giant also committed to train specialists, develop a national cancer registry to better understand the disease burden and establish national treatment guidelines.

To improve access to innovative breast cancer therapies, Roche also worked with the Ministry of Health and multiple stakeholders to enable public funding of treatment at sustainable access pricing in 2019.

Cancer is one of the most significant public health challenges in Ghana, with more than 24,000 new cases diagnosed in 2020 and more than 15,800 people dying from the disease.

Of all cancers, breast cancer is the most pervasive, accounting for more than 31% of all new cancer cases in women in 2020.

According to the Ghana National Strategy for Cancer Control 2014-2017, almost seven out of 10 women diagnosed with breast cancer each year in Ghana will die from their disease, compared to two out of 10 women in developed countries like the United States of America.