Afi is smiling once again because for the first time in months, things are looking up for her and her daughter, Kessie, who has recently started treatment for her cancer.
Afi first noticed that something was wrong with her daughter back in July 2017, when she started experiencing pain all over her body. Afi took Kessie to the local doctors, where she was given antibiotics for what was assumed to be a normal infection. When Kessie failed to show any improvement, Afi took her to another hospital, where the same diagnosis was given, and they were sent away with antibiotics once again. It wasn’t until Afi took her daughter to Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi for a third opinion that she was diagnosed with leukaemia. Misdiagnosis of childhood cancers is a common problem in developing countries. World Child Cancer are working to raise awareness of childhood cancer amongst frontline healthcare workers, giving children a faster route to better treatment.
Afi initially refused to allow Kessie to receive treatment as she knew that it would cost a great deal of money and didn’t want to put her daughter through chemotherapy. Following guidance from her church, she agreed to go ahead with treatment and Kessie has just completed her first month of chemotherapy.
Covering the costs of treatment is often a huge concern for families in developing countries, like Ghana. Afi’s husband works in Saudi Arabia and sends money back to help with these costs, and World Child Cancer are also supporting some of the drug costs to help to ensure that Kessie is able to complete her treatment. Afi has also been attending the parent support group in Ghana, which is helping her to cope with the effects of having a child with cancer.
Childhood cancer can be cured if detected early enough and treated effectively. With your support this Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we can improve access to diagnosis and give more children with cancer, like Kessie the gift of growing up.