Was für eine Welt – Kinder leiden nicht nur unter der Krankheit, sondern ganz besonders, weil es in Senegal kein Schmerzmittel für sie gibt.
By Angela Chung
When Abdoulaye’s mother left his hospital bedside to pick up medicine from the pharmacy, I helped fan him. Temperatures in Senegal reach the 90s in November, and the air in the ward for children with advanced cancer hung hot and still. Flies buzzed, landing on the faces of patients who were too tired to swat them away.
Abdoulaye, age 4 ½, had a type of cancer that caused tumors to form on his bones, and is extremely painful.
For six months Abdoulaye received no morphine – a standard part of treatment in many parts of the world. When he arrived in the cancer ward, he received a few doses of the painkiller. Then Senegal ran short of morphine.
Because of the pain, Abdoulaye couldn’t speak. His feet and body were swollen from the cancer. He cried constantly, and would shriek whenever anyone lifted him.
My grandfather died of lung cancer, and it was horrible. But you don’t know how much worse it is when you don’t have morphine. You don’t even think about it until you don’t have that pill.
Morphine was still in short supply when Abdoulaye died a month later. His excruciating pain at the end could have been erased with the mere pennies it would cost for a dose of morphine.