On January 9, the British government had sent 39-year old Ama Sumani from Cardiff back to Ghana. She could not afford the kidney dialysis treatment that is required to prolong her life.
The decision was deemed “atrocious barbarism” according to the Lancet medical journal. However, the head of the Border and Immigration Agency told the MPs that this case did not stand out from all the other difficult cases.
Lin Homer, the chief executive of the agency said to the Home Affairs Select Committee: “I think it is difficult to see the circumstances in which this case stands out from the many very difficult cases we consider.”
Homer argued that it was not cruel or inhumane treatment because many countries did not have the same quality of medical care that Britain has.
She added: “We see many cases where the medical prognosis for an individual would be far less good in the home country.”
Gwyn Prosser a member of the committee said: “Many people would believe that this case is exceptional. If it’s not exceptional, good God, what is?”
Ms. Sumani is a single mother who was widowed with two children. She had been receiving dialysis at the University Hospital of Wales located in Cardiff for over a year after her kidneys was damaged due to cancer.
Ever since returning to Ghana, she tried to get onto a dialysis machine in Accra’s main hospital. But, Ms. Sumani could not afford the $6,000 that the hospital had asked for which would cover sessions for the next three months.