|Jimiyke enjoying his food during his UK visit|
Many of EducAid’s long term supporters will remember Abu Bakarr Koroma (alias Jimiyke). Jimiyke was kidnapped and taken to fight in the war as a child. Although so many other youngsters in a similar position fail to emerge from the margins of society, Jimiyke got himself into the EducAid school in Rolal and made a success of his education. He was extraordinarily determined. In Sierra Leone, generally Arts students do the Arts and Science students do the Sciences, full stop! Jimiyke was an Arts student who beat all the Science students in maths. He never wasted an opportunity. Just before his senior public exams, he nearly died of TB which was then treated but incompletely, due to the hospital’s incompetence. A year later, he lost the use of his legs because he got a TB spinal abscess because the half treated TB recurred. Last year he had a son and after a period of ICT training in the UK and Sierra Leone he took an opportunity to start working in telecoms in Ghana. A few days ago, he started having seizures, his speech was slurring, he was unable to eat and he was struggling to walk again. Thanks to the intervention of some very kind friends, he is now in hospital in Accra and tests are being done to see exactly what the problem is and he is starting to improve with antibiotics.
He is a courageous young man who has been through an awful lot already. With support he will surely come through again but this will not be thanks to the Sierra Leonean health system. TB drugs are free in Sierra Leone and yet fully trained and experienced doctors twice gave him an incomplete course of treatment. Anyone needing health care in Sierra Leone is really in trouble. Through the kind offices of a Ghanaian friend who is helping him navigate the Ghanaian system, he has managed to get some treatment but as a foreigner he is in a very vulnerable position still.
We need doctors. We need compassionate, honest and accountable doctors.