Nurses play a vital role in cancer care for children at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH). As with childhood cancer care around the world, nurses are vital in not only administering treatment but also helping families to deal with the stresses of cancer. We caught up with Nurse Mary who works on the day care unit at KBTH to see what life is like as a nurse in Accra.
Nurse Mary spoke with a smile on her face, whether talking about children that have now passed or those that have gone on to university, work or to even start their own families;
Treatment abandonment is an ongoing problem in most developing countries, including Ghana. Many children arrive at the hospital and start their treatment, but return home due to the financial strains before their treatment is complete. Nurse Mary explained how reducing treatment abandonment is now one of the biggest priorities for staff at KBTH;
Despite these obvious barriers to treatment, Nurse Mary remained upbeat about her role and how things can be improved;
“We can change this by raising awareness and increasing the chances of early detection. Unfortunately, the only cancer units available are in Kumasi and Accra, so we need to train more healthcare workers to be able to support more children across Ghana and beyond.”