By Jennifer Bentzel/IMA World Health
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania—Mwema Hamisi knew her 6-year-old daughter was very sick. The symptoms came on suddenly. One day, Asha was happy and playful. The next day, she was in pain.
Hamisi took Asha to one hospital, then another and another. Asha went to three hospitals in less than two months, but no one seemed to know what was wrong with her.
Finally, Hamisi and Asha were referred to Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam, about an hour-long trip from their home. There, Asha was seen in the pediatric oncology ward and doctors diagnosed the kindergartener with Burkitt’s Lymphoma, an aggressive form of childhood cancer.
Hamisi had never heard of BL, but doctors explained what needed to be done and shared the good news: BL is highly treatable when it’s caught early.