Doctors at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) say a 7-year-old boy who is suffering from severe skin and mucous membrane disorder is responding to treatment.
They say Emmanuel Ameyaw’s condition known medically as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome could be a reaction to medication or an infection.
The boy reportedly developed the condition which causes the skin to blister and peels off on admission at Akontombra Government Hospital in the Western Region.
Head of Paediatric Emergency Unit, Sylverken Justice says Emmanuel who has earlier been diagnosed with malaria will need several weeks to recover.
Emmanuel’s condition had gone from bad to worse since the malaria diagnosis at the Akontombra District Hospital. His vision, as well as the lining in his mouth, are all affected.
Other symptoms include painful red or purple skin that looks burned and peels off.
There are over 100 drugs noted for causing Stevens-Johnson syndrome, including painkillers such as paracetamol, ibuprofen medicine for treatment of gout, seizures, among others.
Unfortunately for Emmanuel, doctors are unable to identify specific agents of the ailment, though they say he is stable and responding to treatment.
“In terms of corporate agents, we have not been able to pinpoint the corporate agents, they[parents] even provided pictures. With this current technology, they provided pictures of how the condition evolved.
“So they are quite confident over how it started,” says Dr. Sylverken Justice of the KATH’s Paediatric Emergency Unit.
Dr. Sylverken Justice says Emmanuel will stay longer at the hospital as doctors work around the clock to improve his condition.
“Currently he is quite stable. His skins have not picked any infections yet and that is quite commendable because what we are worried about is he picking infections. We had issues with IV-line but currently we’ve been able to secure another Intravenous line ( IV-line),” he said.
Komfo Anokye Hospital sees at least six children with Stevens-Johnson syndrome, annually.
Though the cost of treatment may differ from patient to patient, cost of treatment takes a toll on families.
Emmanuel’s parents, for instance, had to resort to a loan to pay for their son’s treatment.
His 25-year-old mother, Dorcas Ottoo, says she and her unemployed husband have been forced to contract loans with 100 percent repayment interest.
The former student of Akontombra Senior High School (SHS) says the boy’s condition has already cost the family ¢6,000.00 in loans, with ¢340 spent daily on cream meant to improve mouth lining of her son.