Diseases could deprive you of enjoying the beauty of life and has the potential of crippling your dreams and aspirations. It is one of mankind’s worst enemies.

A better life for many is to be healthy, peaceful and to live in love without hunger. But most children in Ghana suffer the debilitating effects of diseases which could have been cured through early diagnosis and treatment. Such diseases continue to limit the ability to earn a living. Just as sleep and death are often seen as bedfellows so are poverty and sickness.

Fighting poverty and sickness has been a daunting task for Mr and Mrs Ahiase; peasant farmers at Adetsewui, a farming community in the Akatsi South District of the Volta Region whose meagre resources are spent daily on elephantiasis; a disease that their 21-year-old son is battling with.

Elephantiasis is a condition caused by infection with a parasite called the filarial worm. The parasite is transmitted from human to human via the female mosquito and grows into an adult worm that accumulates fluids in the lymphatic system of a human. This ailment becomes fatal when not treated quickly and efficiently.

Clemence Ahiase was born a healthy child according to the parents but started developing a “giant leg” in his formative years. Left unattended to in the early days, his left leg has swollen up through his buttocks to the spines, making movement very painful for the young man.

As a child, Clemence had dreams of going through his education and becoming an accomplished man who could improve the lives of his parents and others in his community. With the help of a walking stick through determination, he endured the pains of walking to school every day until he dropped out in primary six when he was to continue to a Junior High School located extra kilometres away from the primary school. He told Citi News he had to stop schooling because he could no longer bear the brunt of walking that distance.

Clemence can only see his age mates sit and chat from afar, while he lies prostrate on a bench in their compound sobering in wishful thoughts. He told Citi News, he goes through so much pain while sleeping and hardly changes his sleeping position.

Elephantiasis Boy
A Catholic Priest who was once posted to their area, Fr James Dzinyakpor saw the condition of the child and decided to send Clemence to the St Anthony’s Hospital in Dzodze for treatment. However, due to financial constraints, he could not continue the process when the hospital referred them to Korle Bu teaching hospital in Accra.

The Volta region was recently ranked 10th by CDD-Ghana for being the most deprived part of Ghana. The region is bedevilled with a high rate of teenage pregnancies, worm infestation and other lifestyle diseases in its farming communities.

Although Clemence has no plans of furthering his education and moving his family from the mud house, he constantly prays the challenges he is encountering come to an end. He, together with his parents are appealing to kind hearts for medical or financial assistance.