• Aminu Ibrahim

Mara Foods, Beautiful Smiles Project organize breast cancer screening for women at Biihee

Women of Biihee, a pre-dominantly farming community in the Wa Municipality of the Upper West Region, have benefited from a breast cancer and hepatitis B screening exercise organized by a consortium, Mara Foods, Mara Closet and Beautiful Smiles Project, run by young female entrepreneur, Maria Johana Yuorpor.

The event, organized in commemoration of the Breast Cancer Awareness month of October, was to highlight the symptoms of Breast Cancer and champion a campaign for early detection and treatment as the month winds up.

On Saturday, October 30, 2021, a team of health professionals and volunteers were at hand to screen for cancer and the various diseases related to breast, including hepatitis B.

Chief Executive Officer of the consortium, Madam Maria Johana Yuorpor in an interview with Info Radio disclosed that the rationale behind the health outreach was to provide health awareness and assistance to women in the community where she already had other engagements with.

She said the exercise was aimed to enlighten women and men about early detection, treatment, impact, and ways to prevent breast cancer.

The chief Executive added that the development of every community is highly dependent on its healthy population and that, it was necessary to undertake the outreach at Biihee to ensure this unassailable development epitome.

The consortium screened over 100 women for breast cancer – the most common cancer in African Women – and hepatitis.

Six (6) cases of hepatitis were detected but no case of breast cancer was recorded, health officials said.

Health professionals also offered advice to the women that the disease was curable if detected early and appropriate treatment instituted.

Isshaque Asheeka, Midwife, Wa Municipal Hospital

Midwife with the Wa Municipal Hospital, Madam Ishaque Asheeka, demystified that breast cancer has no specific cause but pointed drinking of alcohol, smoking, being a woman, obesity, hereditary factors, aging, premature menarche and delayed menopause as some causes of breast cancer.

She mentioned breast lumps, thickening of breast, dimpling of breast, redness or flaky breast and bloody discharge from the nipple as some signs of cancer of the breast.

She however, noted that a sign does not necessarily mean presence of breast cancer but admonished women to do self-test or visit a facility for proper diagnosis.

She said early diagnosis is the surest way to finding treatment for breast cancer and thus, urged women to report signs early to health professionals.

The event which centered on breast cancer screening for the rural folks as part of the ‘Pink October’ events that were held worldwide to save women, saw many women and young girls returning home with smiley faces and singing praises for the ‘rare’ gesture.

The women expressed their gratitude to the Mara consortium for the gesture and promised to adhere to the admonitions given by the health experts.

Meanwhile, the Assembly Member of the Busa Electoral Area, Hon Mwiniyella Mahama warmly welcomed the activity and enjoined the organizers to further continuous engagements of development interest.

About Breast Cancer

October is globally declared as a month to raise awareness to reduce the stigma of breast cancer through education on symptoms and treatment.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer type in females around the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Breast cancer awareness is therefore imperative, as early detection, often through screening, can help detect cancer at a stage when it is easier to treat. It is therefore of essence, that women especially, resort to routine checks, early testing and detection.

Globally Breast cancer has been identified as the leading cancer for women and occupies the spot as the second cause of female cancer deaths in the world. Aside from the high cost of treatment, the pain can be nauseating. The World Health Organization, in a recent finding, suggests that over 2000 women have breast cancer annually of which about 1000 die and thus called for more action to reduce the occurrence.

Maria Johana Yuorpor, Chief Executive, Mara Foods and Beautiful Smiles Project


Maria Johana Yuorpor is an Industrial and Organizational Psychologist, Women Enterprises Consultant, with a mission for rural and youth empowerment. Founder and CEO at Mara Foods (indigenous Ghanaian Foods processed into powder form), Mara Closet ( beads and Ankara accessories) and Beautiful Smiles Project (mentoring and giving skills training to young girls). She has over the period mentored many young girls and youth in the Upper West Region and her impact is wide abounded.

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