A five-year-old boy, Kofi Balenga is appealing to philanthropists and the public to help him raise GH₵10, 000 to enable him undergo immediate eye surgery.
The boy, son to a 47-year-old widow, a farmer and mother of seven Ama Badu, at Dadako, a farming community near Awutu-Bawjiase in the Central region has been battling with the horrific eye tumor for several months now.
The situation has forced Balenga to drop out of school to enable him seek medical care.
Devine Mother and Child Foundation, a Koforidua based Non-Governmental Organisation which first discovered the plight of the boy during its community outreach project at the village is leading the fund raising process.
President of DMAC foundation, Edmund Duodu, a Nurse, is therefore urging the public to donate money to save the boy’s life.
According to him, the poor boy may lose his life if the surgery is not performed in the shortest possible time.
In an interview, Badu explained that when the disease started, they suspected it to be a boil, however, it has continued to spread to the retina and the entire eye.
She said, “my son is unable to endure the pains associated with this disease, so he has dropped out of school, someone took his picture to show to a Doctor at Korle Bu and they say, it is eye tumor but I don’t have money, I cannot afford, I am a poor widow with seven children so please I need the help of the public”.
According to Medics, Tumors in the eye usually, are secondary tumors caused by cancers that have spread from other parts of the body, especially the breast, lung, bowel or prostate.
Two types of primary tumors arise within the eye itself and are known as retinoblastoma in children and melanoma in adults. Retinoblastoma is a cancer of the retina, the eye’s light- sensitive tissue.
This most common childhood eye cancer usually strikes children under age five. In nearly a third of the cases recorded, retinoblastoma occurs in both eyes.
While symptoms are not evident early in the disease, increasing pain and vision loss in addition to damaging vision, eye tumors can spread to the optic nerve, the brain and the rest of the body.
Researchers have recommended that, early diagnosis and treatment are extremely important.
Melanoma tends to spread via blood vessels to distant organs.
Ophthalmologists and other highly skilled physicians, like the pathologist, play a crucial role in making the precise diagnosis and in determining the progression of the tumor.
For children, much of the diagnostic work takes place in what appears to be a playroom and involves techniques designed to be child-friendly.
There are various ways to treat eye tumors, depending on the diagnosis, size and aggressiveness of the tumor, and other factors. Certain small tumors may respond to laser treatment or freezing (cryosurgery).
In some instances, it is possible to remove a tumor surgically and still preserve vision.
A technique advanced by Wilmer researcher’s fine- tunes radiation therapy for eye tumors, focusing it more precisely on the eye. This minimizes the amount of radiation reaching healthy tissue.
If the eye cancer is advanced and must be treated aggressively or removed, plastic surgeons perform reconstructive eye surgery.
Today’s artificial eyes or implants move almost normally and are virtually indistinguishable from natural eyes, although, of course, they do not see.