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Breast cancer is not a death sentence when detected early  



Breast, cancer, Newscenta, health, self-examination, early detection,
Breast self-examination. Photo: Getty Images

Stories paint gloomy pictures of breast cancer all the time.

The month of October which has been set aside for breast cancer awareness is a reminder of sad experiences some family members who died gruesomely due to the crippling effect of breast cancer diagnosis that was diagnosed late.

Early detection saves life but also quick and immediate treatment rendered for early detected breast cancer saves lives.

A 65-year woman who had been diagnosed of breast cancer after a lump was found.

She had a hard time dealing with the diagnosis of the doctor who told her about it.


She was told by the surgeon to commence treatment and referred to the psychologist.

She rather resorted to herbal preparations and prayers.

She returned to the hospital after six months but this time around the lump had grown from a pea size to a size of an orange together with swelling of the left arm with reddening of the skin of the left breast and a sore on the breast.

She accepted her fate saying that it was a thing in the family where people of about 45-50 years die mysteriously without knowing the cause.

She lived in doubt of the doctors’ diagnosis because she believed she was out of the woods.


“I am 65 years and it is a blessing. I don’t believe the diagnosis and I’m not going to die because I’ve crossed that age bracket of death that occurs in my family.

Aside, I don’t have a family history of breast cancer. I neither smoke nor drink.”

She is no more with us. To date, I still admire her courage and positivity.

This is the story we mostly hear. Now listen to another story but this time around, a much more encouraging one.

A 31-year woman who knows that in her family breast cancer was prevalent because she had inquisitively enquired about the death of key members of her family including clergymen and women, bank managers, and business tycoons.


According to her, the whole family had the perception that some angel of death specifically targeted prominent ones in their family who were the financial backbones of the family.

She noticed the pattern of death in her family so read about it and realized it was breast cancer.

She said they all died of breast issues. She had come to present with a lump in the breast to the clinic.

Guess what? She accepted the diagnosis and counseling of the clinical psychologist.

She is a religious person who involved her clergymen who prayed for her but encouraged her to take the treatment of the doctors seriously.


She started treatment immediately after careful and requisite labs were done.

She went through chemotherapy (treatment procedure where drugs are given to kill cancer cells) and all other treatment requirements.

She is well until today. She always says I know my family history so I examine myself every month.

Dear reader, I think we can take a leaf from this person’s book.

What must I do when I have a family history of breast cancer?


Knowing your family history is one of the first steps in putting a barricade between you and late staged breast cancer.

Always probe and ask about deaths in your family of young women dying.

Monthly, consistent, and consecutive breast exam is just enough.

Aside from family history, it is recommended that one stops smoking, and alcohol intake as well as watching out for obesity. Reduce alcohol intake but quit smoking.

Did you know that 15 minutes walk away from your home and back is enough to reduce your risk of breast cancer and not only breast cancer but also non-communicable diseases like hypertension, diabetes, kidney disease, etc


What should I do if I don’t have any family history?

I don’t have a family history of breast cancer therefore I’m out of the woods when it comes to breast cancer.  This statement and assertion is what is peddled on social media.
Look at the story of the first woman above. She didn’t have any family history known to her.

It doesn’t necessarily mean that there was no breast cancer history. No family history of breast cancer doesn’t alienate from breast cancer.

You may be the very first person of your family with breast cancer. The reassuring message is early detection saves lives.

Early detection saves your breast. Immediate and prompt treatment after diagnosis is crucial.      


It is rather late-stage breast cancer that kills. Early detection is the key.

How to self-examine your breast at home

Get a mirror in your room which is well lit with natural light. The mirror should have a length spanning from the crown of your head to the waist line.

The first step  is to stand in-front of the mirror exposing your body from your neck level to the waist level.

You then lift your breast to inspect the underside of the breast on either side. Followed by checking armpits.


You can skillfully palpate the breast in a circular pattern making sure you touch every part as well as the two armpits.

The last thing is to gently squeeze the nipple.

This helps know the feel and appearance of your breast so that deviation from your normal will quicken a visit to the hospital.

By Dr. Michael Baah Biney


Measles, Polio and other childhood vaccines dispatched to regions



Childhood vaccines, Newscenta, Polio, Measles, Ministry of Health, Regions,

The Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) have received the first consignment of Measles vaccines, Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccines and Oral Polio Vaccines.

The Ministry of Information in a statement said distribution to various regions and facilities was underway.

It noted that more vaccines are expected in Ghana in the coming weeks from multiple sources.

“More vaccines expected in Ghana in the coming weeks from multiple sources,” the Information Ministry added.

It shared pictures of the GHS receiving the vaccines at the airport noting that they have already begun distributing them to various regions and facilities.


The ministry also shared photos of regional cold vans picking their consignments of the Measles, BCG and Oral Polio vaccines received and its accompanying logistics at the National Cold Room in Accra.

Ghana ran out of essential BCG and OPV vaccines as a result of the Ministry of Health’s failure to secure procurement of these vaccines since the year began.

The BCG vaccine is primarily needed to prevent the occurrence of tuberculosis in babies, while the OPV is to prevent polio infections

Other essential vaccines to prevent diseases such as measles, whooping cough, etc. are also in short supply.

Answering to parliament on the shortages, Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman Manu said that more than $6 million has been paid to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to deliver baby vaccines.


According to him, the government expects the shortage to end in the next three weeks when all the vaccines are delivered.

Whilst urging the Legislators to approve funds needed for vaccines, he assured that shortages will not reoccur

“The assurance I will give and I can give for the first time in the Chamber is that this will not happen again and I will advise that you help me in my advocacy to get adequate funding for vaccines even the health insurance budget,” he appealed.

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No measles deaths in 20yrs, vaccines arriving soon  



Vaccines, Newscenta, measles, BCG, polio, immunisation,

The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, has assured parents of children who are yet to receive their scheduled vaccines due to the vaccine shortage currently being experienced in the country that the country will take delivery of these vaccines in the next few weeks.

He gave this assurance at an emergency press briefing organised to address the raging issue which has seen many worried parents moving from facility to facility in a desperate search for the crucial vaccines.

The Minister in his address stated that the nation is currently facing a shortage of some vaccines.

He said, “it is true we have had some vaccine shortages in the country since the last quarter of 2022. The vaccines in short supply are BCG, Measles-Rubella (MR), and Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV). This shortage is nationwide.”

Agyemang-Manu however assured that  “the Ministry of Health has been making efforts to ensure we secure adequate stocks of vaccines despite this global challenge.”


He went further to state that, “we have made all necessary efforts to ensure that despite these challenges we secure adequate stocks within the next few weeks.”

He disclosed that the country has not recorded deaths caused by measles outbreak in parts of the country.

The Health Minister indicated that there had been no recorded measles-related deaths in the country in the last 20 years, even though there have been sporadic outbreaks.

He further indicated that besides the shortage of vaccines, there had been a global decline in vaccinations with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in late 2019.

He said, “the recent shortage in vaccines for measles, as regrettable as it is, is symptomatic of the steady global decline in measles vaccination since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic.”


Agyemang-Manu however assures the citizenry that the nation’s vaccination coverage remains robust, with immunization performance coverage being among the best in the world.

According to him, “in 2021 we recorded 95% [vaccine] coverage.”

In recent months there has been a desperate scramble among worried parents of toddlers over the apparent shortage of vaccines for the six childhood killer diseases in the nation’s pharmacies and hospitals.

This coupled with an outbreak of the measles-rubella virus has left parents worrying about the safety of their children.


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Ghana: Zipline delivers 14.8m lifesaving medical products



Zipline, drones, Newscenta, 14.8m deliveries, 2022, medical products,

Zipline, the world’s first and only national-scale drone delivery service has delivered some 14.8 million (14,809,463) units of lifesaving medical, vaccines and blood products to health facilities in Ghana as at the end of 2022

309,000 delivery flights

These items were delivered through 309,000 separate delivery flights.

4.4m units delivered

The total units delivered amounted to 4.4 million.


8.3m doses of childhood vaccines

Childhood vaccines top the list with the delivery of 8.3 million doses.

2.05m doses of COVID-19 vaccines

It is followed by COVID-19 vaccines which recorded 2.05 million doses.

48,588 doses of malaria vaccines


The company delivered 48,588 doses of malaria vaccines during the period

10,875 pints of blood

Some 10,875 blood units were also delivered during the period.

Zipline, drones, Newscenta, 14.8m deliveries, 2022, medical products,

6 Zipline distribution centers

The six  Zipline distribution centers delivers lifesaving medical, vaccines and blood products to over 2,500 health facilities.


Zipline introduced in April 2019

Ghana integrated Zipline’s medical drone delivery service into its health supply chain in April 2019 with an initial support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the UPS Foundation and other partners.

Instant access to health commodities

Zipline enables instant access to hundreds of health commodities for thousands of health facilities across the country.

Autonomous drones


This marked the first time in history that autonomous drones have been used to make regular long-range deliveries into densely populated urban areas.

Zipline reaches half the population

Zipline’s current network in Ghana can reach up to half the population.

Life-saving care

All too often, people requiring life-saving care do not get the medicine they need when they need it.


Reduce medical waste

To increase access and reduce medical waste, key stock of blood products, vaccines, and life-saving medications are stored at Zipline’s base for just-in-time delivery.

Health workers place orders

Health workers place orders by text message or call and promptly receive their deliveries in 30 minutes on average.

Drones deliver the orders


The drones take off from and land at Zipline’s base, requiring no additional infrastructure or manpower at the clinics they serve.

Each drone can carry 1.8 kilos of cargo

The drones fly autonomously and can carry 1.8 kilos of cargo, cruising at 110km an hour, and have a round trip range of 160km—even in high-speed winds and rain.

How Zipline works

Each week, a single Zipline distribution centre – a combination of medical fulfilment warehouse and drone airport – is capable of the on-demand delivery of more than two tonnes of temperature-controlled medicine to any point across an almost 8,000 square mile service area.


Zipline, drones, Newscenta, 14.8m deliveries, 2022, medical products,

30 to 45 minutes deliveries

Each aircraft can fly 100 miles round trip, in strong winds and rain, day or night, to make on-demand deliveries in 30 to 45 minutes on average.

Zipline’s drones have flown more than five million autonomous miles to deliver more than 1.5 million doses of vaccines, units of blood, and critical and life-saving medications to more than a thousand health facilities serving more than 25 million people across three countries.

Zipline in United States

In the United States, Zipline has partnered with a leading healthcare system, Novant Health, on the country’s first drone logistics operation by a hospital system for pandemic response.


To date, Novant Health has utilised Zipline to make contactless drone distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to frontline medical teams around Charlotte, North Carolina.

Zipline operating in Kaduna and Cross River States in Nigeria

Zipline recently commenced medical delivery services in Kaduna and Cross River States in Nigeria as its footprint grows across Africa.

Set to begin commercial operations in Côte D’Ivoire and Kenya

The company is set to begin commercial operations in Côte D’Ivoire and Kenya this week bringing to five countries in Africa to have adopted the technology.






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