Regional News of Friday, 25 May 2012

Source: GNA

Lecturer advocates obligatory health screening for university staff

Dr Arthur Kobina Kennedy, a lecturer at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) School of Medical Sciences, on Thursday advocated obligatory medical screening for staff of the university.

He advised authorities of the university to collaborate with the clinical unit of the university to engage in medical screening of staff to reduce cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular related diseases and other diseases.

Dr Kennedy made the call when he gave a public lecture on the topic: “ Towards Assuring a Healthier University Community,” at Cape Coast, organised by UCC as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the University.

He noted that more than 30 per cent of the nation’s population did not know their health status and called for routine visit to medical facilities for proper examination and early treatment of diseases.

Dr Kennedy said according to a survey conducted at the UCC community, and a similar survey in the USA, only five per cent of the population within the age of 55 and above had a colon cancer screening test last year, as against 70 per cent in the USA.

He said 10 per cent of women between the ages of 18 and 21, had a PAP Smear as against 77 per cent in the USA, and that 11 per cent had mammogram screen for breast cancer against 7.

He asked medical institutions, particularly those at the universities, to intensify public education campaigns on health screening and maintenance.

Touching on the attitude of health professionals like doctors and nurses towards their patients, Dr Kennedy asked medical professional bodies like the Ghana Medical Association to sanction members when they conduct themselves unprofessionally.

He alleged that though some patients died out of the negligence of health professionals, they were not sanctioned.

Dr Kennedy cited that in the USA, patients could sue health professionals who work unprofessionally at court, and said Ghana should emulate the USA to bring sanity to the health sector.

Dr Kennedy appealed to UCC authorities to come out with alternative health insurance scheme, to cover cancer treatment, mammogram and PAP Smear test and other diseases that were not covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme.

He appealed to specialists at the clinical unit of the UCC to design appropriate health care systems to suit the university community, and cited the building of disease registry or creation of special e-mails, to communicate with patients outside the health facility.**