A cancer-cured patient has urged government to boost health-care delivery in the country to save lives that are mostly lost due to ineffective and partial diagnostics.
Betty Bona the recuperated patient who had suffered from Diffused B-Cell Lymphoma and Thymoma—both cancerous diseases which later degenerated into other worse cases—spoke to Captain Smart on Angel FM’s Anopa Bofo? morning show on Thursday, February 4, 2021, as part of marking the World Cancer Day.
According to Betty, her condition was so critical such that she was advised to travel abroad to seek immediate medical attention due to the lack of medical equipment designed to perform such functions pertaining to her condition. Her life was on the line with a span of 14 days.
She said: “due to time constraints, we left Korle Bu Teaching Hospital for a private hospital, Sweden Ghana Cancer Centre, where we did all the necessary tests and scans to confirm the tumour.
“The doctor who attended to us at the Sweden Ghana Cancer Centre advised us to seek medical attention abroad if we have the financial capacity. He said there they have all the necessary medical equipment to perform the surgery I need but here in Ghana, our machines are not able to perform such functions,” Betty continued.
“We told him we didn’t know anyone abroad in such capacity to help so he forwarded our reports via email to hospitals abroad. A hospital in India responded to our call and asked that we come in two weeks. We were required to make a deposit of US$20,000 before we undergo treatment. A delay to meet the time frame would result in a fatal situation—death,” she further narrated.
Experiencing difficulties caused by the disease like breathing, swelling of arteries and veins due to blood congestion coupled with colds and coughs, the cancer-cured patient on her quest to board a flight to India for medical attention was also hindered by the airport attendants.
She said: “I wasn’t allowed by the attendants to board a flight. At the checkpoint, my luggage was set aside because they feared I would die on the plane. I called my mother to pray with me while the men dealt with the situation. Finally, I was allowed to get on board but at my own risk.”
Having undergone the surgery in India, Betty and her husband Ben Smith Afful, have returned to Ghana taking advantage of the World Cancer Day commemoration to urge the government to invest in the health sector.
Though she does not undermine the professionalism of the doctors operating in the country, she advocates for a boost in health care delivery to avoid deaths such as she was prone to have suffered.
One of the machines she mentioned to have been deficient in the system—even across Africa, except South Africa — is the Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan, an imaging machine used in scanning the entire human body.
She believes that if such medical equipment were procured, the country would benefit greatly from it.
Betty Bona’s condition was diagnosed in the year 2019 after having complained severally to doctors about her difficulty in breathing coupled with coughs and cold.