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‘Don’t Let Me Die’….   
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When 46 -year-old Station fire officer, Emmanuel Paapa Essel stationed in Kumasi ,the Ashanti Regional Head Office  of the Ghana Fire Service collapsed in the line duty sometime last year, little did he know that his frequent inhaling of  smoke and fumes in his everyday work activities  had slowly damaged  his kidneys.

On December 27, 2014, Essel was officially diagnosed at the Animwaa hospital –a medical facility in Kumasi- of a kidney disease.

 But sadly, Easel has been left to his fate by his employers and living on the benevolence of his colleague workers and friends to take care of the huge medical expenses he incurs each month on dialyses and medication.

Easel says he has since his diagnosis spent over thirty thousand Ghana Cedis (GHC 30,000) on medical expenses as he spends an amount of GHC 190.00 (hundred and ninety Ghana cedis) at each hospital visit on dialyses. 

He noted that per the doctor’s advice, he is expected to visit the hospital for dialyses four times in month but due to financial constraints, he is only able to do two in a month.

Easel says although he has officially written to the authorities concerned and made available receipts of all his medical bills to his Regional Commander, the Service has since not offered him any support .

 “I have had this kidney for almost a year now but no funds have come from the Service to help support me”, he lamented.

Essel who has worked with the Service for almost 24 years, says he is unable to maintain his children in school due to his condition. As a result, four of his children have had to drop out of school because he is unable to pay for their fees due to the huge medical bills he has had to pay each month.

 Dr. Albert Brown Gaisie, Chief Fire Officer of the Ghana National Fire Service told Weekend Finder he is aware of Easel’s condition but said the Service had put in place measures to foot his medical bills. 

He told Weekend Finder that the Ashanti Regional commander of the Ghana Fire Service has been giving Essel money to take care of his medical bills.

According to him, the Service has constituted a contingency fund to help Essel take care of his medical bills.

 “As we speak, we are thinking of how best to send him some money. The issue is that we don’t want to give him the money what we do is, we pay to the hospital so that he will be going to the hospital for the reviews”, he noted 

He asserted that the regional commander has been giving easel all the support that comes from the head quarters.

But Essel insists that the assertion by the Chief Fire Officer cannot not be true as he struggles each time to pay his own medical bills.

He narrated that the only money he received from his regional commander is an amount of seven hundred Ghana Cedis. Even that, he said that amount was realized from a contribution made by all fire personnel in the region who realized he would die if they do not take urgent steps to help him get medical attention.

He also refuted claims that a contingency fund has been created by the regional command to take care of his medical bills.

“When I was diagnosed, I was almost dying; no one had money to help me so the personnel in Ashanti region contributed 10 Ghana cedis each for me. That’s the money I go to take for my hospital bills. that money got finished long time”, he said.

 The Ashanti Regional Commander Mr Arhin Mensah told Weekend Finder although he has written to the Head Office and provided Emmanuel’s medical bills he is yet to receive funds from to support the medical expenses of Mr Essel.

He said through the ingenuity of the District Commanders in the region,   an appeal for funds was launched to source funds from the personnel of the Service in the region to make contributions to help Essel pay his hospital bills.

“Now we have exhausted all the money we have mobilized from the personnel”, he added 

He indicated that the District Commanders would be meeting again today to see how best to raise money to enable Essel go for his routine medical checkup.

 Mr Essel in spite of his condition  is still at post working for the advancement of the Service in the Ashanti Region and waiting patiently for the needed support from the Service he has dedicated his life to serving over the past 24 years.
Source: The Finder

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