TAKORADI — Around the world, October is ‘breast cancer awareness month’ but for Dr. Beatrice Wiafe Addai, President of Breast Care International Ghana (@bcighana) and Peace & Love hospitals, 31 days is not enough. That’s why every weekend, Dr. Wiafe Addai and her growing team head out to tackle the complexities of Ghana’s public healthcare system, dispel myths about cancer, share stories from survivors, and educate women of all backgrounds by running free clinics in hard-to-reach communities all across Ghana.
“We do not know the root cause of breast cancer. That’s why it is important to talk directly with women and conduct screenings to detect it early and treat it.” — Dr. Beatrice Wiafe Addai
As part of its mission to bring greater awareness to the disease as well as celebrate survivors and those still battling, BCI Ghana hosts an annual Walk for the Cure, as a way to reach more women, men and children than any one weekend’s work. This year’s event was the fifth for event organizers who said they expected this year’s numbers to match or even exceed previous years that saw as many as 30,000 walkers participate. On Saturday, international guests, community leaders, area residents and local school children from the Takoradi-Sekondi area completed the 10-mile walk from Takoradi’s Jubilee Park to the Sekondi Sports Stadium.
The theme for this year’s walk was, ‘Fighting for a Breast Cancer-Free Future for our Children’. The message was displayed across banners carried on floats and by walkers, part of a strategy Dr. Wiafe Addai said was designed to help inform those watching the walk and share with them a call to action she said she hoped would be effective.
“We are seeing our younger ladies developing cases of breast cancer at age 21, 22, 23. They feel they are too young to have breast cancer and so they do not take the right actions to solve it. We are here to teach them what to do.” — Dr. Beatrice Wiafe Addai
Assemblywoman Selina Avevor, of the Kutunse electoral area in the Ga West District of the Greater Accra region, said she too believes educational outreach can reduce the number of cases seen in younger Ghanaian women. For this reason, she said she wants to see more of these efforts happening as often as possible,
“After today, it is my job to keep organizing women, both the young and old, for screening and share what we have learnt here, as much as I can.” – Selina Avevor
To experience more great photos, videos, and stories of personal triumph from this year’s, Walk for the Cure, revisit these live tweets and watch this video (YouTube) celebrating those who joined together to, ‘fight for a breast cancer-free future‘.