Friday, July 24, 2009

Pain association of Ghana launched

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Clifford Tagoe, on Thursday said the treatment of pain needed a multidisciplinary approach and called for cultural and financial considerations in the treatment procedure. Pain, he said, could be devastating and dehumanizing especially when it became chronic, coupled with its psychological and emotional aspects which were usually difficult to diagnose and or treat, and may last long after the physical pain has been managed.Speaking at the launch of the Pain Association of Ghana on the theme "Pain: Everyone's concern", he said pain was no respecter of persons and noted that it needed care and attention in reducing it for sufferers so that they did not become addicted.Pain is defined by the Taxonomy Committee of the International Association for the Study of Pain as the unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage.Prof. Tagoe charged the association to raise awareness to help improve effectiveness in the assessment and treatment of pain, especially in the era where traditional management of pain without medication had changed.The International Association, founded in 1973, is the world's multidisciplinary organization which focuses specifically on pain research and treatment.It currently has more than 6000 members from 123 countries and with 80 chapters.Membership is opened to scientist, physicians, dentists, psychologists, nurses, physical therapists and other health professions actively engaged in pain research, and those who have special interest in the diagnosis and treatment of pain. Dr Gladys Amponsah, President of the Association, said from the new born baby who experienced the pain of circumcision, the young adult who experienced pain due to trauma or surgery, to the labouring woman before childbirth and the elderly with a fractured hip, "pain is very real and has now become a human rights issue".She said the campaign for 2008-2009 was on cancer pain because over 10 million people worldwide were diagnosed with some form of cancer each year, adding that the pain associated with cancer was of serious concern and that pain was not necessarily inevitable for anyone with cancer. With the launching of the association, Dr. Amponsah said "perhaps the most important benefit which will be derived is quality pain relief for all our clients". Professor Nii Otu Nartey, Chief Executive Officer of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, said the launch was long overdue because "we live in a country where pain has been accepted as a norm because people with severe and chronic colds do not know where to go". He supported the calls for the establishment of a pain clinic at Korle-Bu.

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