Daniel Osei Bonsu is a 14-year-old boy resident of the Wawase in the Afigya Kwabre district of the Ashanti region in Ghana. Daniel, a junior high school student of the local Roman Catholic School registered with the  Women’s Health to Wealth (WHW) Boys’ Club program in May 2018. The program  trains adolescent boys to attain life skills required for self development and to contribute positively towards the development of  their communities.

About a year ago, Daniel got  so ill hat he sometimes missed a whole term of  school could not participate  in the National Juvenile Football Association of which he was a  member.  After seeking medical help from a local community clinic without any improvement, Daniel’s parents concluded that, the  source of his illness was spiritual and started seeking help from local spiritualists.

Daniel’s absence in school and during club sessions was reported to WHW by the club facilitator. A team from WHW visited Daniel at  home after he two weeks of absence from club sessions in June 2018 and found him  in a critically ill and helpless situation. Despite the fact that his  mother was convinced it was a spiritual issue, she was encouraged to send Daniel to the WHW hospital in Kumasi.  Daniel was found to be severely anaemic and required  urgent blood transfusion. He was referred to and admitted at the emergency unit the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) where he was transfused with three pints of blood and later  hooked onto a ventilator. Sadly, Daniel was unable to make it and passed on seventeen days after  intensive  care at  KATH.

Daniel was diagnosed as having a congenital malignant blood disease that usually affect other siblings. This disorder occurs in people with a compromised immune system and in persons that have a family history of having this malignant disease. It was evident Daniel received late treatment for this disease because parents and his community attributed his sickness to work of demons in the spirit world.

With this knowledge of the cause of Daniel’s ailment and the fact that this disease is genetically transferrable, his parents were urged after being educated on the nature of the illness to send his four other siblings for testing.    As the saying goes, “A stitch in time saves nine”– even though we lost Daniel, we have had the opportunity to save his four other siblings through early detection and appropriate treatment for two others  who also have the same problem.

Fig. 1. Group discussion among boys during a Boys’ Club session.


Report by:

Deborah Mensah Duah.