Imagine not being able to control your eyelids, your mouth and other voluntary muscles within your body. How would you feel if you got extremely fatigued by the least work such that you couldn’t even lift a finger, nor talk?
That is just an iota of what patients of Myasthenia Gravis; a neurological disorder, go through on a daily basis.
Dr. Kemi Olawaiye-Dampson; a medical Doctor at New Crystal Hospital Takoradi,
who is also a victim of this disorder tells rawgist.com all is set for the National launch of a Foundation to help with diagnosis and treatment of the condition in Ghana. She explains that it is very expensive to diagnose and treat the condition.
“During diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis, the sample has to be sent to South Africa for it to be tested. The first one costs about a thousand cedis while the second one costs about five thousand cedis”, she explained to rawgist.com’s Bernard Buachi during the launch of her book detailing her personal experiences with Myasthenia Gravis all through her life.
She explains that her foundation will serve as a support group, help subsidize costs of diagnosis and treatment and possibly make it completely free.
Myasthenia Gravis is not covered by health insurance in Ghana; a situation that makes life very tough for patients suffering from this rare condition.
A Neurologist at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital; Dr. Stephen Sarfo explains that Myasthenia Gravis makes the muscles of the body unable to work well and easily fatigued. “Patients of Myasthenia Gravis also have a difficulty breathing. They can’t exercise.” He adds that it affects more women than men. “The cause is not really known, but it is thought that the body produces some chemicals that work against the muscles and impair their functions.”
Dr. Sarfo explains further that Myasthenia Gravis is a condition that is often missed by Doctors, adding that the treatment is usually lifelong. It is however not contagious. “About five out of every one million people in Ghana will have Myasthenia Gravis“.
Medical Doctors and invited guests at the book launch held in Kumasi donated their widows mite towards making the Foundation a reality.
Dr. Kemi Olawaiye-Dampson also made a passionate appeal to all to contribute to the foundation to help alleviate the plight of poor people suffering from Myasthenia Gravis.
A Resident Family Physician at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital; Dr. Fred Bedzrah who was also a class mate of the author led the auction of the book. He explained that the condition lends itself to negative interpretations by society and wrong diagnosis by members of the medical community. He advised teachers and workers not to be quick to criticize a student who is unable to learn or misses classes as being lazy. “Some might also give the condition all sorts of spiritual interpretations that may not help the patient”, he explained and asked Ghanaians to donate generously towards the setting up of the foundation since the country has so far failed patients of Myasthenia Gravis.
Dr. Kemi Olawaiye-Dampson can be contacted via email at email@example.com