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Sierra Leone News: I don’t want to die of cancer - final year FBC student

Ishmael Koroma, a final year student at Fourah Bay College, has been diagnosed with bone cancer in a country where there is no cancer treatment centre. Ishmael’s condition is getting worse by the day and he needs $25,000 USD to take care of his operation in India. Koroma said he woke up one morning and realized that his left leg was paining him. He went to the Connaught Hospital where he was then diagnosed with bone cancer. The final year student said he does not want to die at this stage of his life when he is about to graduate from the university. Koroma lost his father many years ago and his mother sells rice. Koroma became a tailor to pay his college fees. Chief Executive Officer of Thinking Pink Breast Cancer Foundation, Cremelda Parkinson Pratt, said she learned about Koroma through one of her staff. They have been championing Koroma’s plight to ensure that he gets his medical treatment in India. Pratt said the country does not have the facilities needed to handle sicknesses such as cancer. She said they have been advocating to successive governments to provide them with a cancer centre, but their efforts have been futile and cancer patients continue to suffer neglect by the authorities concern. “Successive governments are yet to stretch their muscles on the attention that the disease needs. The fact that we always need to go to the sub-region for radiotherapy, it means that we are still sleeping as a nation.” She said some market women, community members and Koroma’s colleagues at college have been able to raise some money but not enough to fly Koroma to India. According to the World Health Organization, (WHO), cancer is a generic term for a large group of diseases characterized by the growth of abnormal cells beyond their usual boundaries that can invade adjoining parts of their body or spread to other organs. A United Nations expert investigation reports that over 2,000 people die of cancer every year in Sierra Leone.


By Sulaiman Karim Sesay

Wednesday May 15, 2019.

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