Training to become a Paediatric Oncologist

Dr Nana Yaa Akyaa Bonney has dreamed of being a doctor since she was in school. Dr Bonney became a medical officer in 2013 and has since been training at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) in Ghana, which is supported by World Child Cancer. Dr. Bonney has now become one of the first doctors to begin a paediatric oncology fellowship at the hospital.

This training initiative is part of a wider three-year partnership with the UBS Optimus Foundation. With their support World Child Cancer is aiming to create West Africa’s first Centre of Excellence for paediatric oncology at KBTH.

Dr Bonney takes great joy in caring for children with cancer and witnessing the success stories of children who have responded well to treatment. When meeting Project Manager, Meg Collington, Dr Bonney spoke about a young girl’s story that had a particularly big impact on her;

“There were many difficult moments where she suffered through complications and side effects of her treatment and she was particularly upset when losing her hair. Thankfully, after two years of chemotherapy she is now in full remission and now only returns to the day care unit for monthly check-ups. Having seen her through her treatment[Mc1] , it is so nice to see her well again and with a full head of hair!”.

As well as the challenges of caring for children who have been diagnosed late and have low chances of survival, Dr Bonney also revealed the difficulties in sharing bad news with parents. Despite the emotional impacts of caring for children with cancer, Dr Bonney loves her job as she enjoys bringing smiles back to the faces of the children and parents she works with.

During her training, Dr Bonney will work on the general paediatrics ward at KBTH for six months before moving onto the children’s cancer ward and later completing a placement abroad where she hopes to learn about new ways to improve childhood cancer services in Ghana. Dr Bonney is also excited to learn new skills and knowledge to help overcome challenges on the ward and is looking forward to the empowerment the fellowship will bring. 

You can help us in continuing to train healthcare professionals around the world to give more children with cancer the Gift of Growing Up by donating today. Every donation you make before 30th June will be doubled by the UK government meaning your support goes twice as far.