A vital lesson to learn about life is that our actions always have consequences. Either rewarding or devastating, our every action has an outcome. This is the story of a young girl, Razikatu, a 10 year old whose actions resulted in damning scars on her body.
As part of my duties as a volunteer for the FOCUS Ghana Chapter Medical Outreach 2017 held in Yendi, I chanced upon a young child participating in the screening programme with her close to 60 year old mother. The medical outreach was organisedi n the Yendi district to give inhabitants free medical consultation and treatment to common sicknesses such as malaria and cholera. Some eye defects and family planning problems were tackled at the outreach. Razikatu had a very huge scar stretching from her right shoulder to her chest and right hand. I waited for them to complete their screening and spent a few minutes interacting with them. The woman, who gave her name as Filayira, said her daughter suffered severe burns from boiling soup two years ago.
Although the woman could not express herself in the English language, she explained the ordeal to me through an interpreter. She stated that two years ago, she left Razikatu, the then 8 year old at home while she went away to the market. It is common practice in that part of the country for young girls to take over kitchen responsibilities from their mothers at a very young age as it is seen as training for their future home. While she was away, Razikatu decided to prepare soup for the house. She put the soup on fire and left it to boil. Unfortunately for her, she left the soup unattended till it started to overheat causing the soup to spill over. In Razikatu’s dire attempt to save her soup, it poured on her causing her skin to peel immediately. Her desperate cry for help alerted family members who quickly rushed her to the hospital but it was a little too late as her shoulder, chest and right hand had severely been burnt exposing her inner red flesh.
Two years down the line, the poor girl has this scar to remind her of the decision she took while her mother was away. After participating in the free medical outreach organised by Friends Of Coventry University, Ghana Chapter, which was aimed at improving health conditions of inhabitants of deprived areas in Ghana, I further questioned her to find out if she had made any attempts to remove the scar on her body. Her mother responded to this by saying “We have been to hospitals but the cost for the operation is more than we can bare.” She was told two years ago that it would cost her over GHC1,200 to get it corrected. She further stated that some foreign doctors came to Ghana to perform free surgical operations for people with similar conditions but unfortunately for them, they got wind of this opportunity a little too late and so could not take part in the exercise. Filayira however said that she would welcome any form of help for her dear child and hopes that some kind hearts will come to their aid.
To help Razikatu, kindly call Filayira on 0245845705 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org