A Social Welfare Officer at the Mampong Municipal Assembly, Stephen Attah-Gyamfi, has made a passionate appeal to philanthropists and public-spirited people to come to the aid of 43-year-old Victoria Boahemaa and her six children who have been hit by a strange disease that has affected their sights.

Madam Victoria Boahemaa, unemployed, and her children live in a rundown family house at Bosofour, a farming community within the Daaho electoral area near Mampong in the Ashanti region.

The Municipal Welfare Officer said both Madam Victoria and her children needed immediate medical attention to correct their sight to enable her to start some economic activities to fend for the family; and for the children to return to school.

Apart from her eldest son, ‘who has not shown any sign of this ‘strange’ disease, the rest of the children all show signs of this problem and can hardly see without lifting up their chin.

Speaking to the Times, he described Madam Victoria and her children’s plight as very pathetic due to her poverty level which has made it literally impossible for her to seek medical attention.

He said the family was the practical definition of abject poverty, saying, “the fact is the family can barely take care of themselves let alone seek medical attention.”

According to Mr. Attah-Gyamfi, the district assembly has been assisting in their upkeep “but that is not enough. We need to assist them to seek medical attention and empower ,them economically to survive without handouts.”

As part of its assistance, he said the Social Welfare had registered them with the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), a welfare mitigation programme being run by the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare, but “they are yet to receive their first payment”

“Even here, only four of them will be covered by LEAP and the maximum they can get is GH¢15,” which he said could “hardly keep body and soul together.”

That notwithstanding, he said they would still be better off with that than nothing at all.

He explained that the kids need urgent assistance to correct their sight to enable them to return to the classroom.

Speaking to the Times, Madam Boahemaa said she had the problem since she was a child and was told it was glaucoma.

The last time she reported to the hospital, she said the doctor advised her against carrying anything on her head. As a result, she had to stop her menial job she was doing to cater for her children.

Since then, she said the family had been living on the benevolence of family members and other well-wishers in the community including the district assembly.

The second born, aged 18 and in SSS two student had one of the eyes operated on and urgently needs to undergo a second operation to correct the other eye.

The others, aged 14, 11, eight, five and three respectively were all in the house at the time of this reporter’s visit which was school hours.

Madam Boahemaa who was very grateful to the Social Welfare department for its assistance in helping them to survive pleaded with the public to help save her children from going blind. The husband, according to her, had been bedridden for the past three years and was unable to engage in economic venture to cater for the family.

Source: The Ghanaian Times

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