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19 January 2017

Breast cancer patient appeals for support

The breast cancer patient

A 30-year-old breast cancer patient at Pataa in the Nandom District in the Upper West Region, has appealed for support to meet her medical expenses and end the pain she is going through.

Pauline Samba needs about ¢15,000 for a series of medical expenses that include the cost of surgery and chemotherapy following diagnoses of her condition some six months ago at the Tamale Teaching Hospital.

But with her meager earnings as a farm labourer, she is hardly able to cater for her daily upkeep, let alone raise the amount for her treatment. “I have no hope in life, I am only waiting for death to come upon me,” she told the Daily Graphic through an interpreter.

Ordeal

Ms Samba became an orphan very early in life, and also had to contend with the death of her only child, the death of her child’s father, and now the painful breast cancer that threatens her own life.

Her parents, she said, died before she was eight, and thereafter she and her senior brother had to move on in life almost on their own, and that made it impossible for her to attend school.

At the age of 13, she travelled to Kumasi to work as a head porter – popularly called kayayoo in local parlance – and gave birth when she was about 15 years old, but the child died because she could not breastfeed her as a result of poor milk production and sore nipples.

“My brother, the only true relation I can count on, is also affected by a health condition on his arm,” she said.

That has left them in an “each one for himself” situation, as they battled to seek for health care for survival, although she insisted that survival looked impossible.

Long before the breast cancer was diagnosed, she returned to Nandom with a sewing machine she had acquired from her earnings as a head porter, but the dream of becoming a seamstress could not be fulfilled.

Now serving as a women’s leader in her native Pataa community, she belongs to the Rural Women Farmers Association of Ghana (RUWFAG), and had been effective in advocacy activities designed to empower women in those rural areas.

It was during one such workshops at Lawra that the leadership of the Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organisational Development (CIKOD) learnt of her condition and drew the attention of some media persons to her plight.

Source:MICHAEL QUAYE

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