GNAT Cancer Foundation Appeals for Donations to Maintain Cancer Fund

The Cancer Foundation of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has appealed to the media and corporate organisations to support its Cancer Fund.

The Fund, established in 2014, supports the treatment of GNAT members and some of their dependents diagnosed with cancer.

In a meeting with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) leadership on Wednesday in Accra, Mr. Christian Yaw Adinkra, a board member of the GNAT Cancer Foundation, stated that the contributions from members were insufficient to support the increasing number of teachers receiving cancer diagnoses each year.

Currently, each of the roughly 260,000 members must send GH¢5 to the fund each month.

The Sweden Ghana Medical Centre, now operated by the GNAT, offers comprehensive specialist care to its patients. Also accessible to the general public is the cutting-edge facilities.

Mr. Adinkra voiced concern over the notable increase in cancer cases among its members in recent years, revealing that over 358 members in the Ashanti Region alone had received a diagnosis and were receiving treatment.

“I must say that from 2018, the figures of our colleagues going through cancer is huge. First of all, the highest region with affected members is the Ashanti Region with 358, then Greater Accra follows, Central Region. These are the records we have from the cancer centre,” he said. 

He said in 2014, as a result of its commitment to the wellbeing of members, GNAT established a welfare fund into which every member was required to pay GH¢2 as a contribution.

“This is to ensure that any member plagued with cancer is treated for free to go back to teach the children committed to us by all parents in Ghana,” he said. 

He explained that the increase in cost of cancer treatment coupled with surging number of affected members compelled the association to raise its contribution to GH¢5.

“We have also realised that the GH¢5 we are contributing cannot sustain us.”  The spouse of a contributor and two children are also entitled to treatment.

Mr Adinkra, therefore, appealed to corporates, individuals and faith-based organisations to support the fund to sustain it.

He gave the assurance that members of contributory entities would benefit from the care provided by the centre partnership agreements when the need arose.

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Mr Armstrong Asante, Board Chair, GNAT Cancer Foundation, indicated that cancer treatment, though expensive, was possible and urged the public, particularly, teachers to seek early treatment rather than wait, emphasising that, “Cancer is not a spiritual disease.”

Mr Asante also called on the Government to support the Foundation to enable it to assist members who had been diagnosed with the disease. 

It costs more than GHS75,000 to offer full treatment and care to one patient, he noted.

He appealed to the public to donate to the fund through the shortcode – *776*123#.

Mrs Beatrice Asamani Savage, the Director of Editorial, GNA, said as a media house, the GNA had supported causes that sought to bring development to the nation, explaining that seeking the welfare of teachers was a worthy.

Cancer, she noted, had become a common sickness in the Ghanaian society, making everybody susceptible to the disease. 

Continuous education, especially about lifestyle, she said, was key in tackling the disease, assuring that the GNA would do whatever it took to support the cause.

“As we are aware  the specific cause of cancer is still being determined by the scientists and the cost of treatment is very high, so it is important that we do the education on the known carcinogens so that preventive measures take precedent over curative and management of cases,” she said. 

She, therefore, described the initiative as a “noble cause” which would advance the welfare of teachers, especially retired teachers diagnosed with cancer. 

“It is part of the agenda to further the wellbeing of our people. The teachers are so important to our society and being a large labour population, everything that affects teachers affects Ghana too – it affects the very root of our society because children are nurtured by teachers to build a nation,” she added. 

Mr Norbert Asenso, Head of Business Development, GNA, urged the management of the Foundation to pursue a business module that would bring more stakeholders on board as premium paying beneficiaries.

The meeting was also attended by Madam Sarah Oye Owiredu, Mr. Peter Boateng, the GNAT Regional Secretary for Greater Accra, and Madam Barbara Dodoo, the Deputy Director of Administration, GNA.

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