Dr Jaye Ceesay laments plight of cancer patients,calls for greater gov't investment in health sector
African governments including The Gambia should allocate more resources to improving health care delivery or face a campaign for imposition of U.S sanctions, Gambian-American Doctor Jaye Ceesay has declared while lamenting the plight of cancer-stricken people in The Gambia deprived of treatment.
A visibly emotional Jaye Ceesay was speaking on The Sisters Show which heard the testimony of cancer survivor, Ida Ceesay-Ndiaye, and her work with women diagnosed with cancer.
Ida, who organizes screening campaigns and supports the diagnosed through The Gambia Cancer Associations League, ruefully assessed:
“Our health system is not equipped at all to help cancer patients.My organization has helped so many people.Cancer League has helped so many people go to Dakar, but by the time they get there it’s already too late and there’s nothing they can do.So Senegal is now having to say ‘well if it’s a stage four we are just sending you back home to go die. Essentially!”.
Ida added that they were initially going to screen 300 people for breast cancer and cervical cancer. With the demand,she added,they ended up having to do 402.Out of those people 16 had stage 4 breast cancer.
She maintained: “Overall,out of the 402, we had 300 that were positive, meaning some were breast cancer,the other ones were cervical cancer.What we found out was that the people that actually came knew something was wrong with them and so they came.Then we had 32 that were suspected cases of cancer. We were overwhelmed as far as what to do”.
Disenchanted with the grim reality of cancer patients not having access to proper treatment, Jaye Ceesay who is a medical doctor in the US with over 20 years experience in the health care industry lamented:
“This is the problem I have with African governments. We have all the luxurious cars that are driven by the organizations, by the governments,we fly all over the world,we go on unnecessary meetings,spend a whole bunch of money, celebrate their birthdays...if people don’t value life, don’t value humanity they are not going to care about health care.They are going to care more about their pocket books, they are going to care more about driving luxurious cars, they don’t even care because of the fact that their wives can take off in a flight and go somewhere else and get medical treatment. I can’t even believe that someone being diagnosed with breast cancer the only option they have is cut off their breasts or die. You cut off their breasts and still they die.That’s why the ladies will choose to keep their breasts because they still die anyway.
If they really value people’s lives one thing they could have done is to pick one one of the specialists that’s a general surgeon, send them abroad, get the education, come back be at least one specialist in the country. At least one.
We can even bring it to the next level. We that are African descendants that are in the West we can take it even further with this fight and take it to the American senators and say we don’t want any African gov’t to come seek medical help in this country. They should seek help in their own countries.They should not let them come in for treatment. I don’t care how much money they have to come and pay. We should fight like that and at some point then they would start listening.They don’t listen, they don’t care. But we can take it to another level and start a campaign”.