Sunday, May 30, 2010

NHIA RECEIVES DRUGS (PAGE 18, MAY 29, 2010)

THE National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has received a consignment of chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting medicines valued at about $3.3 million from the Peace and Love Hospital and Breast Care International (BCI) in Kumasi to be distributed free of charge to needy patients at various health facilities in the country.
The National Cancer Coalition based in Raleigh, USA, in partnership with AmeriCare also an NGO in USA, donated the drugs to Peace and Love Hospital and the BCI. In compliance with the wishes of the donors, the drugs were given to the NHIA at a brief ceremony last Friday.
Making the presentation, the President of BCI and Head of the Peace and Love Hospital, Dr (Mrs Beatrice Wiafe-Addai, noted that her outfit had arranged with its foreign partners to support needy cancer patients in the country with free drugs.
She said nausea and vomiting were the side effects of the application of the cancer drugs. Consequently, the drugs presented to the NHIA would help in combating the side affects.
She noted that cancer was now one of the leading causes of death worldwide and the irony of the situation was that, its treatment was very costly.
Dr Wiafe-Addai was convinced that involving the NHIA in the fight against cancer would help greatly in the fight against the disease.
She commended four people whose invaluable assistance ensured that the medicines arrived in Ghana.
They were Dr Oscar Debrah, Head of Eye Care Unit, Ghana Health Service, Professor Seth Wiafe of Lomalinda University, Carlifornia USA, Dr Boateng Wiafe of Operation Eye Sight International, and Mr Opuni Mensah of Watborg Eye Services.
Dr Wiafe-Addai called for proper records on the drugs to enable the BCI to give the donors the required data on the management of the medicines in Ghana.
Receiving the donation, the Director of Research and development at the NHIA, Mr O.B. Acheampong, said medicines accounted for 53 per cent of NHIA’s expenses and noted that the cost was going to rise as more people moved to access the facility.
He indicated that the specialist drugs donated to the NHIA were very expensive and commended the donors for the gesture.
“We recognise Dr Wiafe-Addai’s contribution as a true partner in giving care to cancer patients in Ghana, “ he added.
He called for more support for the NHIA to enable it perform its function of saving lives.
Mr said last year, there was a shortage of the drugs, which became a problem for the NHIA and patients.
In a related development, the Peace and Love Hospital and BCI presented prostate cancer drugs to the Sunyani Regional Hospital for free distribution to needy patients under a similar arrangement with the foreign donors.