SUCCESS STORY: A STITCH IN TIME
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 provides an avenue to train adolescent boys to enable them attain the life skills required to contribute positively towards the development of themselves and their communities.
A few years ago, Daniel got sick to the extent that he sometimes missed a whole term of school. As an adept footballer and member of the National Juvenile Football Association, Daniel or a while could not participate in this activity as well. After seeking medical help from a local community clinic without any improvement, Daniel’s parents concluded the source of his illness was spiritual and started seeking divine intervention.
Daniel’s absence in school and during club sessions was reported to WHW by the club facilitator. A team from WHW visited Daniel at his home and found him in a ill and helpless situation. His mother gave us a brief history about his condition and how they concluded his condition to be a spiritual case. The team informed his mother that members of the Boys’ Club are entitled to medical care at WHW expense when they receive care from a designated hospital. His mother was encouraged to send Daniel to the hospital for which she agreed. Daniel reported to the designated facility with his mother and field officer of the community a ffew days later. On examination by the physician, 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 where he was transfused with three pints of blood and hooked on a ventilator. However Daniel was unable to make it and passed on after seventeen days under intensive care in KATH.
The referral note from the hospital in Kumasi indicated Daniel showed symptoms of 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, is a stitch in time to save his four other siblings. As the saying goes, “A stitch in time saves nine”, even though we lost Daniel, his four other siblings can be saved since the family have been educated on this disorder and the steps required to save the life.
Fig. 1. Group discussion among boys during a boys’ club session.
Deborah Mensah Duah.