The Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye has directed the Leadership of the House to take immediate steps in providing a suitable accommodation for nursing Members and staff of Parliament to address the nursing needs of their breastfeeding babies. 


The Leadership is expected to work hand-in-hand with the Acting Clerk and Director of Development to ensure that female legislators and staff breastfeeding their young ones are provided with a serene environment to take of their babies.


They are also expected to examine other welfare matters to take care of all female Members and staff of Parliament who combine nursing of their babies alongside their legislative and parliamentary duties. The leadership is also to liaise with Honourables Okoe Boye and Ezanetor Rawlings, Leedzokuku and Korle Clottey legislators respectively for their expertise.  


Prof Oquaye’s directive follows a statement made on the floor of the House by Hon. Sarah Adwoa Safo, the Deputy Majority Leader and Chairperson of the Women Caucus to mark the breast cancer month.


Breast cancer awareness is celebrated in many countries across the world every October by conscientizing and supporting awareness creation by advocating for early detection and treatment for the disease.


‘Mr. Speaker, according to the International Agency for Research and Cancer, there are about 1.38 million new cases and 458,000 deaths from breast cancer each year (LAEC Globocon, 2008) and it is estimated to be the most common cancer worldwide’, the Dome-Kwabenya MP stated.


She went on to state that, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide, both in developed and developing countries as well as in low and middle income countries. This issue has been rising steadily on yearly basis due to poverty, illiteracy, ignorance, increase in urbanisation and adaptation of western lifestyles’, she reiterated.


In their contribution on the floor of the House, Honourable members expressed their concern about the increase of breast cancer in women over the years and the late detection of the disease due to non- screening. Similarly, the legislators came to the conclusion that breast cancer treatment is very expensive and most patients resort to spiritualists and prayer camps to seek treatment.  


The MPs also noted that breast cancer affects both men and women though women are at higher risks and advocated for early screening and detection and to report unusual discharges from the breast to medical officers.


The Minister for Health Hon Kwaku Agyeman-Manu in his contribution noted that most of the deaths can be attributed to the fact that most women with breast cancer are diagnosed late mainly due to lack of awareness on early detection and barriers to health services


He informed the House of government’s commitment in addressing this unfortunate phenomena through the setting up of more research centres to lessen the work load on Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).


The Honourable Minister went on to inform the House in his conclusion that plans are far advanced for the setting up of prostrate, cervical and breast cancer treatment centres in all the regional capitals while the cost of breast cancer treatment will be listed on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).