PZ Cussons Ghana Launches Childhood Cancer Campaign

Major manufacturer of personal healthcare products, and consumer goods, PZ Cussons Ghana, has launched a campaign to support children with cancer at the Paediatric Oncology Unit of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH).

The ‘Camel – because we care’ campaign, will see PZ Cussons donate 20p for every Camel Antiseptic liquid bottle bought to the unit to support needy children affected with cancer.

Managing Director, PZ Cussons East Africa & Ghana, Sekar Ramamoorthy, in his opening address, said the company decided to give back to the most vulnerable group in society during this time of pandemic.

He said statistics showed that 2000 out of every one million children are affected by cancer in Ghana, adding that although the disease is curable many families cannot afford diagnosis and treatment, ‘so we needed to do something for the children so they have a chance to say yes to life’.

Mr. Ramamoorthy assured that the campaign will be the beginning of a long lasting collaboration to bring relief to children with cancer in the country.

“We were challenged by this pandemic to do something positive to address the needs of the society,” he said.

Head of Brand Development & Activation, PZ Cussons Ghana, Hafsa Arthur, said one of the major areas the campaign will focus on is advocacy.

“Many people don’t even know they have it until it gets a little bit late and so we are going to be spending a lot of time talking about the early warning signs and we are using all media platforms to engage the public,” she said.

She again indicated that the funds realized from the campaign will support the diagnosis of cancer for needy children and also help in the treatment of the disease for selected children at the unit.

She used the platform to call on other well meaning organizations to join the cause to help bring relief to children with childhood cancer.

Head of Paediatric Oncology Unit, Professor Lorna Awo Renner, said of the estimated 1300 children who we expect to develop cancer annually only about 400 are admitted and receive treatment which is available at the unit and the Komfo Ankye Teaching Hospital (KATH).

“Families are unfortunately faced with having to pay for everything. Childhood cancer is not covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) this is sad because with early diagnosis and effective treatment over 80 per cent of these children could be cured and potentially have at least 50 years of reproductive life to give back to society,” she said.

Professor Renner said the unit has had to rely on benevolent organizations and individuals in order to offer live saving treatment to the children.

“We are truly grateful to all who have helped us,” she added.

She said the lives of children with cancer matter just like other children who have other diseases and who are able to access full care under the NHIS.

The head of the unit stated that it was an answer to their prayers when management of PZ Cussons approached to work on the campaign adding that the funds realized will enable the unit diagnose, reduce suffering and provide life saving treatment for needy children with cancer, in addition to giving the unit a facelift so quality of care can be improved.

“We hope the campaign will be a catalyst for policy makers to include treatment of childhood cancer on national health insurance scheme,” she said.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri

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