Meet Augusta

Augusta Asiedu-Lartey is a Child Life Specialist at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) in Accra, Ghana. She talks to us about her role – the highs and the lows – and the impact of Covid-19 on her work.

How did you become a Child Life Specialist?

I studied psychology for my undergraduate degree. Later, when I was doing my national service, I used to visit the Department of Child Health, where I carried out assessment on children’s behaviour in the hospital setting.

We look at many different factors that can impact on a family’s quality of life and their ability to manage when a child is diagnosed with cancer: financial, emotional, the child’s education, whether there are other kids that need caring for and transportation (some families live many hours bus ride from the hospital).

What does a typical day look like for you?

In non-Covid times I split my time between the mothers’ hostel, the day-care centre and the ward.

I engage the children in play therapy with games and storytelling, which not only distracts them, but can also help them process what is happening.

Colouring is very therapeutic and many of the children also like to play doctors and nurses and diagnose the dolls!

I also provide counselling for the families and help educate them so they can make sense of what is happening.

How has Covid-19 impacted on your work?

I now work with children on a 1:1 basis, rather than doing group sessions.

It is a very worrying time, as these are children with weakened immune systems who are very susceptible to infection. Even though I take every precaution possible, there is always the worry that I could bring Covid into the hospital or home without realising.

What is the hardest thing about your job?

Seeing children coming into the hospital with very late-stage cancer, in a great deal of pain and all we can do for them is to offer palliative care. Hearing the distress in their parent’s voice is also hard to deal with.

There is very little awareness about childhood cancers, meaning they may go undiagnosed or be misdiagnosed with malaria. Often the parents have taken their child to three or four different hospitals before they end up in Korle-Bu.

And what is the best thing about your job?

The best thing is when the children open up to me and I am able to help allay their fears. Many children don’t understand why they have got sick or think that the cancer is somehow their fault. Being able to reassure them and to see the smiles on their faces is the most rewarding part of my job.

And of course, seeing a child who has come to us extremely sick and goes on to recover. That is a wonderful moment.

Hearing the news that your child has cancer is devastating. With your help, World Child Cancer is able to provide financial and emotional support to children and their families at diagnosis and beyond, to limit the damage cancer causes.

Rebecca’s Update 2021

Read more about our catch-up with Rebecca in July 2021 after undergoing cancer treatment through World Child Cancer in Ghana five years ago.

Read more

Hassan’s story

14-year-old Hassan from the Machinga district of Malawi was diagnosed with Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) last year.

Read more

Tiwo’s story

Five years after developing cancer and two years of treatment later, six-year-old Tiwo is doing well

Read more

Franklyn’s Story

Meet Franklyn, now 17, who is fully recovered from cancer and dreams of becoming a doctor to help others

Read more

Rebecca’s Success Story

Rebecca is now able to return to school after undergoing cancer treatment through World Child Cancer in Ghana

Read more

Discover More Stories…

Rebecca’s Update 2021

Read more about our catch-up with Rebecca in July 2021 after undergoing cancer treatment through World Child Cancer in Ghana five years ago.

Read more

Tiwo’s story

Five years after developing cancer and two years of treatment later, six-year-old Tiwo is doing well

Read more

Hassan’s story

14-year-old Hassan from the Machinga district of Malawi was diagnosed with Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) last year.

Read more

Franklyn’s Story

Meet Franklyn, now 17, who is fully recovered from cancer and dreams of becoming a doctor to help others

Read more

Rebecca’s Success Story

Rebecca is now able to return to school after undergoing cancer treatment through World Child Cancer in Ghana

Read more

My road to recovery

Prince went on to become a childhood cancer advocate and help many other children just like him when he recovered from leukaemia. Read More

Read more

Estaphanie is excited to start university!

Meet Estaphanie, who is excited to start university after being forced to take time out of school following a cancer diagnosis

Read more

Meet Bulu

Bulu is looking forward to following in his brother’s footsteps getting back on the football field

Read more

Meet Oscar

Oscar was six years old when his mother noticed a swelling on his tummy and took him to a traditional village doctor

Read more
Will you join us?

Together we can close the gap in childhood cancer care.

DONATE

Fill out the form to download the taster session


    Fill out the form to download the taster session


      Fill out the form to download the taster session


        Fill out the form to download the taster session


          Fill out the form to download the taster session


            Fill out the form to download the taster session


              Fill out the form to download the taster session


                Fill out the form to download the taster session


                  Fill out the form to download the taster session