By Alpha Bedoh KamaraLike millions of healthy children, Fatmata Kamara, was a charming and promising girl. She was under the care of her grandmother who did everything for her.Unfortunately for the…Continue
Alpha Bedoh Kamara has not received any gifts yet
By Alpha Bedoh Kamara
There is always the nightmare, taboo and witchcraft thinking amongst Africans, especially Sierra Leoneans, about medical cases that are beyond the scope of our medical practitioners.
The result of these stigmas has always ended with victims either abandoned at the mercy of traditional doctors or unfortunately taunted by their kins as being members of the underworld.
Many Sierra Leoneans have watched in dismayed, especially in the rural sectors, when their loved ones are sneered at and branded witches as they suffered from unexplained cases of diseases- which under normal circumstances in the developed world, may be classed under non-communicable diseases: such as cancer.
It may seem ridiculous to a Western doctor to here that someone suffering from a chronic wound with no sign of cure to be accused of using that part of his/her body as a playground for witchcraft- but here, our people suffers this stigmas.
These challenges will continue to deny the people until facilities are provided to address cases of cancer, of whatever form, especially those with children.
The belief that cancer can affect children is still not thought of among most Sierra Leoneans who believe the disease is associated with rich people and people living in developed nations.
Just recently, I was discussing with an employee of a child advocacy campaign group in Sierra Leone about the prospect of engaging them for the purpose of putting across the issue of childhood cancer, but to my dismay, the lady- an expatriate, said Africans should not be worried about cancer!
Imagine!!! However I was not disturbed by her statement after a friend said to me later: Why are you wasting your time on this cause. There is no policy on cancer in the country like Malaria or HIV and AIDs and for now the UN is yet to pay emphasis on that cause?
But they are all wrong!!! I lost my father through cancer, many other Sierra Leoneans have died of the diseases and also recently: a child, a friend- 13 year old Fatmata Kamara, died from a cancerous ailment.
Zainab Koroma: another child suffering from tumor in the eye is still suffering without a cure. Her ailment has frustrated her parents so much that her father, at one point, said he wish she is dead.
As I pen down this note today, Wednesday 13 April 2011, she is still suffering from the lack of medical care.
There is high level of illiteracy among people in Sierra Leone and efforts must be made to reach out to them with all means necessary. Protecting children from most forms of cancer, with the exception of leukemia and others can be effectively done with proper sensitization.
Cancer: is a nightmare to children, and until we face the truth and equally seek the needs of all irrespective of who is affected and where he/she resides or belong, the tears and cries of children in Africa and poor nations will continue as they (children) suffer in silence to their deaths.
Sierra Leoneans like and love children: targeting the parents will go a long way in saving millions of children from the dangers of cancer.
And also, while social behavior can be a concern among the people in the campaign against cancer, Government of Sierra Leone, through development partners, should make cancer a priority in the country and also ensure that children with cancer are supported.
By Alpha Bedoh Kamara
In the developed world, cancer is well researched and scientific solutions exploited to the fullest to respond to the needs of victims- while in developing nations, especially in Sub Sahara Africa, the disease continue to hit harder with thousands of people losing their lives.
According to Wikipedia, Cancer (medical term: malignant neoplasm) is a class of diseases in which a group of cells display uncontrolled growth, invasion that intrudes upon and destroys…
By Alusine Sesay
The celebration of the Day of the African Child in Sierra Leone on ‘June 16’ has brought about different activities with Rowaca Cancer Group-Sierra Leone using the occasion to campaign against tobacco smoking.
Rowaca Cancer Group-Sierra Leone during a discussion forum with community members and school pupils in Wellington stated the importance of making children aware about the dangers of tobacco and other cancer causative substances, adding that preventive…Continue
LIVESTRONG Team Leader
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide but unfortunately in Africa, priority is yet to be focused in it as is often seen with diseases like malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.
Despite the lapses, African nations can still join the international community and be part in the drive to ensure cancer become a priority in the decision making processes.
The cancer scourge has become so threatening that over 500 delegates from 65 countries…Continue