Deported Ghanaian woman is denied kidney dialysis
Saturday 12 January 2008
A terminally-ill Ghanaian woman who was forcibly removed from Britain despite her critical condition has failed to find the medical attention she needs in Ghana.
Ama Sumani, 39, who needs regular kidney dialysis for myeloma, was deported this week because her student visa had expired. British officials claimed to have checked that treatment would be available in Ghana before they sent her back, but the high hospital fees she faced on arrival have left her unable to get essential care.
Ms Sumani had been on a programme of dialysis at the University Hospital of Wales. But when she arrived in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, on Wednesday, the hospital there asked for $6,000 (£3,060) to cover just three months of treatment.
British immigration officials who accompanied her to the hospital offered to pay for the first three months, but the offer was rejected because Ms Sumani had no source of funds to continue it once that time had expired.
Ms Sumani's lawyer, Sara Changkee, said: "It's just so sad; her only future now is death. We have rules and procedures for a reason, but where the system fails is in exercising discretion based on circumstances."
The Liberal Democrat MP Evan Harris, the co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Kidney Group, lambasted the Government's "callous" attitude to her plight. "This shows the Government at its most amoral, no doubt arguing that if they don't act tough then other people will deliberately develop fatal kidney failure in order to evade immigration control," he said.
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