Salam Latifa, a final year student of the Bolgatanga Girls Senior High School in the Upper East Region has for the past five years been battling for her life and education following the detection of a tumour on her left jaw in 2015 that has grown big, leaving the 20-year-old Home Economics student mostly reeling in pain.
Latifa was diagnosed with Parotid Tumour and referred to the Komfo Anokye teaching hospital where she was told to prepare and come back for some further diagnosis and corrective surgeries but she has since not gone back due to her inability to raise money for the tests and surgery.
Parotid tumours are abnormal growths of cells (tumours) that form in the parotid glands. The parotid glands are two salivary glands that sit just in front of the ears on each side of the face.
There are many salivary glands in the lips, cheeks, mouth and throat. Tumours can occur in any of these glands, but the parotid glands are the most common location for salivary gland tumours. Most parotid tumours are noncancerous (benign), though some tumours can become cancerous.
Parotid tumours often cause swelling in the face or jaw. Other symptoms include numbness, burning or prickling sensations in the face, or a loss of facial movement.
The treatment of Parotid tumour is usually with surgery to remove the tumour. If the tumour contains cancer cells, additional treatments might be recommended.
Latifa has gotten to a stage that requires cytological diagnosis. This will help doctors to know if her tumour is cancerous or not.
Her inability to go back for the tests and surgery has not only left her with a growing tumour but also severe pain, headache, bleeding through the nose and sometimes unable to fully participate in academic activities.
While in tears, Latifa tells Dreamz News she decided to defy calls by some relatives to stop schooling due to her condition.
“My neck has been disturbing me for close to five years now. It all started when I was in primary six, it was just like a small boil there and then it started increasing and I insisted on going to school. I was in JHS 2 then they took me to Tamale Teaching Hospital where they did a surgery and asked us to go to Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, they also did some test and told us to prepare and come back but my Mom said she can’t afford so we came back. I have suffered a lot with my mom.
She has sold everything to take care of me. Some relatives keep telling me to stop the school because it has been disturbing me,” she cried out for help.
The 20-year-old who hails from Bawku added that the condition usually delays her return to school saying “If I always go on holidays I have to go to the main hospital, Bawku and treat myself and I always loose blood so all the time they give me blood. Whenever schools reopen, I have to go back to the hospital for checkup and medication before I can come back”.
Latifa’s colleague and childhood friend, Mumuni Salamatu, who has been of tremendous help since she cannot engage in chores like fetching water, details how her friend’s condition makes her to lose contact hours thereby taking a heavy toll her performance.
“It is always disturbing her. The thing keeps on increasing and she will have some pain, headache and will have to go to the school infirmary. She cannot do anything and I do assist her to do her house hold chores” she said.
Meanwhile, Mohammed Zakaria Asakiya, a teacher in the school explained that on several occasions he has spotted Latifa bleeding through her nose as he joins calls for public support to help Latifa to undergo the surgery.
For now, Latifa is pushing against the storm to complete her secondary education with the hope of becoming a matron in future, one that is currently clouded in pain and will require your support.
NB: To support Latifa undergo the surgery, please call or send cash support to momo number 0244974962.