A STAFF AT THE YAM MARKET IN ATEBUBU

The Atebubu-Amantin municipal health directorate has marked this year’s International Childhood Cancer Day with a series of education programmes to create awareness of the disease.

According to the municipal health director Mrs. Emelia Dela Kpodo, the weeklong exercise which was with support from World Child Cancer an international organization with concern for the treatment of childhood cancers saw health workers visiting markets, hospitals, schools and community information centers to take the childhood cancer message to the people and encourage them to look out for early signs of the disease.

She said for many childhood cancers the causes are unknown but environmental factors such as radiation, pesticides and some drugs could increase the risk of developing the disease.

On early warning signs she said a white spot in the eye, a new squint, worsening vision, bulging eyeballs or persistent redness could serve as a lead just as swelling or lumps on any part of the body.

The municipal health director indicated that unexplained fever persisting for over 2 weeks, loss of weight, pallor, tiredness, easy bruising or bleeding, persistent pains in bones and joints as well as bones that break easily could also serve as an early warning sign.

She said changes in walking, balance of speech, headaches persisting for more than a week and an enlarging head could also be indicative of childhood cancer adding that a 5 year old kindergarten pupil who was identified with a swollen left jaw as a result of the exercise has been referred to the Hospital for investigations.

Mrs. Kpodo said although 1 in 500 children could develop cancer by age 15, 75% to 85% of childhood cancers can be cured with early detection and therefore urged all parents and guardians to look out for the early warning signs and seek quick medical attention in order to save the lives of their children.

She thanked the Bono east regional health directorate for the technical support which helped make the exercise a success.

                                                           AT THE CHILD WELFARE CLINIC IN ATEBUBU

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