Ama Sumani is Dead: Matters Arising

Ms. Ama Sumani is dead. She died Wednesday, March 19, 2008 around 4:00pm at the Korle-bu Teaching Hospital, Accra. Ama Sumani who was terminally ill was deported early January 2008, from the UK where she has been for five years. 39-year-old Ms. Sumani whose visa had expired while in the UK was removed from a Cardiff hospital where she was receiving dialysis for a year after cancer damaged her kidneys.

That was how introduced a news item that announced the sad death of a Ghanaian woman whose deportation from the UK last year had brought so much controversy about the United Kingdom’s immigration laws and the application of those laws. What is important here in my opinion is not to blame the government of the UK, but lay the blame squarely at the doorsteps of most African governments who have failed woefully in providing quality healthcare services for the general populace.

These politicians before getting into government, promise heaven on earth only to do very little when in power, or nothing at all. Its always the same at the end of the day – when they or any of their close relatives/associates are ill, are promptly flown to the UK, Germany, South Africa or any other country with a developed health infrastructure. The poor in the society are thus left at the mercy of under-paid health workers and poorly-equipped health facilities. Little wonder there are many dying from malaria, and other easily-treated diseases in this part of the world.

Who can deny that they knew Ama Sumani was coming to Ghana to die? The facilities that could have prolonged her life are either unavailable or too expensive. Quoting BBC News:

But the drug she needed to prolong her life – thalidomide – is not available in Ghana.

For how long will this vicious circle continue? The people deserve better healthcare facilities and this is possible if only the governments would get their priorities right. Much as I admit that the treatment by the British government was not the best, the abysmal failure of the government her home country is shameful – in my opinion. May her soul rest in peace.

What are your thoughts? Did the UK government take the right decision by deporting a terminally-ill Ama Sumani? Who is to blame? The UK government? The government of Ghana? Post your comments.

Previous articleVodacom Tanzania: New Tsh 10,000 recharge voucher now in the market
Next articleProblems with credit/debit cards issued in Nigeria
Oluniyi D. Ajao
Oluniyi D. Ajao is an Internet Entrepreneur and Tech Enthusiast based in South Africa. Follow him on twitter @niyyie for more tech updates.


  1. I blame no one but the governments of our countries for the ill treatment that Africans receive all over the world. Had they been more occupied with providing the necessary facilities required to maintain and sustain the lives of each nation’s citizens and not with enriching their own pockets, no African national will have to descend to the humiliation of seeking a visa for medical treatment.

    I commiserate with her family but a country’s laws are a country’s laws. If you do not like them, the idea is to fix yours. I hope I have not been cold in delivering my point but that is how I feel.

  2. I agree with you absolutely Catwalq and don’t find your expression cold at all. Others have been even more blunt speaking on this issue, on other platforms.

    It is up to each and every ‘developing’ country to fix their country’s infrastructure, so their citizens do not have to go through all the humiliation they get in Europe.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.