A record 50,000 health conscious participants took to the principal streets of the Northern regional capital, Tamale, for the 2018 version of the acclaimed “BCI Ghana walk for the Cure” annual event, designed to increase breast cancer awareness, while celebrating survivorship.
The Tamale event is the eighth in the series. The seventh took place in the Ashanti regional capital, Koforidua, last year.
The historic Tamale Walk, the first in the Northern sector of the country, is on the theme: “THERE IS HOPE FOR A CURE; TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER THAN CANCER, JOIN US”
A press statement issued to mark the occasion, signed by Dr. (Mrs.) Beatrice Wiafe Addai, President of Breast Care International, and CEO of Peace and Love Hospitals, Organizers of the event, said, “the annual BCI Ghana Walk for the Cure has assumed an International character, attracting people from every stratum of society, affirming that our awareness creation program has been embraced by all.”
The statement continued, “We are riding on this national and international acceptance and popularity to increase our visibility, and by extension, heighten and sustain awareness about this debilitating disease, which, but for our consistency, would have needlessly destroyed several precious lives and families.”
“We are counting on our time-tested friendship and association with our partners, sponsors and the media for a sustained and widespread successful campaign against breast cancer in the northern sector of the country,” she challenged.
This International event attracted the participation of politicians, the clergy, school children, members of the Ghana Cancer Board, members of the Ghana NCD Alliance, teachers, farmers, Non-Governmental and civil society organizations, participants from within and outside the country.
Commenting on the event, Viki Vaughan-Williams from Delta Air Lines in Ghana – Our headline sponsor for three consecutive years – said “We’re proud to support Breast Care International and join the thousands of participants in the Walk for a Cure each year. We have seen first-hand how our partnership has saved lives through funding screening programmes. The work of BCI is crucial and we’re delighted to continue to support their work and save more lives in the future.
“Delta is committed to raising awareness and funds for breast cancer research around the world through initiatives such as our Pink Plane, colleagues wearing pink uniforms and selling pink products, including pink lemonade and pink headsets onboard and in our Sky Clubs.”
Paying glowing tribute to Headline sponsor Delta Air Lines and several reputable multinationals, local private companies, individuals and the media for their immeasurable financial and material support, Dr. Wiafe said “it was about time breast cancer was given the much-needed media attention as the number one killer of women. If we do not shock the conscience of the public about this reality, we will wallow in self- deception and self- denial about this disturbing trend, as our women perish, even though cure exists”.
“Breast cancer statistics would remain a scar on our conscience if we do not collectively fight the condition as a National disaster, and a developmental issue. It is not only a public health issue”. She declared.
The maiden edition of the BCI Ghana walk for the cure took place in Kumasi in 2011, repeating itself the following year in the Garden city before hitting the streets of Accra in 2013. In 2014, it was moved to Sunyani, bounced off to Takoradi in 2015, in 2016, it bounced back to Kumasi and last year, 2017 in Koforidua.
The choice of Tamale, according to walk organizers, was dictated by the commitment showed by the wife of the Northern Regional Minister and the Hon. Minister himself, Hon. Salifu Saeed, its strategic location and the knowledge that cases were more predominant in rural areas where illiteracy, poverty and lack of awareness, combined to deepen wrongly-held notions about causes and treatment of the disease.
Hundreds of Breast Cancer Survivors were showcased, in a spectacular display, with some holding placards of the number of years they’ve survived the disease. These gallant heroes and warriors added their voice to the call for policymakers to take the fight against cancers as a top priority.
“We have never been committed more, with the 2018 figures of 4,645 cases (GLOBOCAN) declared Dr. Wiafe, predicting that, “we want to increase our number of survivors (as suggested by HE. The First Lady of the Republic Mrs. Rebecca Akuffo Addo, during the 2017 BCI Ghana Walk for the Cure in Koforidua), in the foreseeable future, and we are keen to have majority of them from the Northern sector of the country”. The statement concluded.