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General News
I''ll Ban ''Turkey Tail'', Tobacco - Akosa 10/16/2007
A former Director-General of the Ghana Health Service Prof. Agyeman Badu Akosa, has served notice of his intention to institute a ban on the importation of "turkey-tail" and tobacco products if he becomes the President of the country in the 2008 elections. That, he said, was necessary because those products were dangerous to health and wellbeing of the people.

Prof. Akosa said this when he formally launched the Prostate Awareness Foundation (PAF), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), in Accra. The foundation is to create awareness of prostate disorders among men through seminars, workshops and other sensitisation methods and to give counselling, advice and treatment to prostate patients and potential sufferers.

It will also advocate the training of more urologists in Ghana and build a place for men for diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

Prof. Akosa warned that diets which contained fat increased the risk of prostate cancer and therefore, advised against the high intake of such fatty products.

"The number of prostate cancer deaths in a given country directly correlates with the average total calories from fat in that country''s typical diet", he added.

According to him, the diseases which affect the urinary tracts in the human system mostly affect the elderly who were above the age 40, adding “the disease is the second large cause of death from cancer in men of all ages". He advised that Ghanaians should eat more fruits and vegetables as such anti-oxidants reduce the risk of catching the disease.

Prof. Akosa also admonished them to at least have an annual Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) laboratory examination to ensure their safety from the deadly disease. He said, the penis was an important organ for procreation and that the prostate as an accessory male gland plays a major role in reproduction including ensuring conducive environment for the spermatozoa.

He said the urethra, an organ of the male penis that carries both urine and semen out of the body, runs directly through the prostate.

In describing the anatomical structure of the penis vis-a-vis the prostate gland, Prof. Akosa said above the prostate were the seminal vesicles, two little glands that secrete about 60 per cent of the substances that make up semen and at the walls of the prostate were the nerves that control erectile function.

The former Director-General used the occasion to advice Ghanaians to read wide, appreciate and take cognisance of their health status to ask questions that affected them in order to put the medical officers on their toes. He said, this would challenge the medical officers to give the right diagnosis and treatment at the right time.

The President of PAF, Mr George K. Owusu, said that early detection of the disease could be cured but added that the awareness of the deadly disease was very poor in Ghana. He said the aim of the foundation was to promote the awareness of the prostatic diseases, particularly prostate cancer, which had claimed many lives.

He said urination symptom in prostate cancer was similar to diabetes and that there were instances where prostate cancer deaths were attributed to diabetes.

According to him, statistics indicated that in a typical African country like Ghana, one man in three was likely to have prostate cancer.

Mr Owusu noted that a report by the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital indicated that Ghana had exceeded the global cancer limit and that in the year 2006, 60 per cent of all cancer cases recorded at the hospital were prostate cancer.

"The awareness drive has caught on well with the men folk because indications are that since we started propagating the message the number of men taking screening tests in Tema and Ashaiman has increased appreciably", he said.

Daily Graphic

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