Heart breaking story of how Doctors lied about Dora Akinyuli’s cancer symptoms

Found this heart breaking report on cable news…according to them, Dora would not have died if her cancer had been diagnosed on time.

Mrs Dora Nkem Akunyili was the Zonal Secretary (South-east) of the
Petroleum (Special) Trust Fund in 1998, Nigerian doctors gave her what
many of her family members considered to be a health scare. They said
she had a growth and needed surgery.

Akunyili, then 44,
decided to travel to the United States, first to get a second opinion
and then undergo the prescribed surgery. The bill for the medical trip
was $17,000, including $12,000 for the surgery.
pre-surgery check-up in the US, the doctors told her the Nigerian
doctors had made a wrong diagnosis and that she did not need any
It was said to be a minor issue that medication would solve.
thanked the doctors and, to their surprise, said she was going to
return the money meant for the surgery to PTF. That was strange.
Nigerian government officials had devised a way of making sure such
monies were not returned to the treasury.
The hospital
informed the PTF, under the leadership of Major Gen. Muhammadu Buhari,
about one honest Nigerian they had found. Buhari, himself a
straightforward person, was very impressed. He wrote a letter to
Akunyili commending her honesty.
came 2001. President Olusegun Obasanjo wanted to appoint a
director-general for the National Agency for Drug and Food
Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and asked for the recommendation of
an honest Nigerian pharmacist. Akunyili’s name promptly came up. Someone
who had heard about her PTF record recommended her.
was a little problem, a Nigerian problem. Objections were raised that
the minister of health, Prof. ABC Nwosu, was an Igbo from Anambra State
and NAFDAC, being a powerful agency under the ministry, should not be
headed by another Igbo from Anambra.
It was also argued
that the market for fake and substandard products were controlled by the
Igbo, with Onitsha – also in Anambra State – a major centre for the
illicit business. She was going to protect “her people”, the antagonists
Obasanjo, stubborn to the cause,  ignored the
observations and appointed her. She went on to do a credible job and
ended up as one of the most outstanding public officers in Nigeria’s
history, celebrated locally and globally. She had lost a sister to fake
drugs, and that was perhaps the impetus she needed to go on the
Akunyili always went abroad for check-ups and she was always given an
all-clear. She continued to look robust and energetic, and took up
another government job as minister of information and communications.
But on July 13, 2013, something strange happened to her. She was
preparing to travel to the United States to receive an award. The
following day was her birthday. Her 59th, precisely. Then she fell ill.
She was physically weak and having pains. She decided to go ahead with
her trip and attend to her health in the United States.
was while she was there that new checks were carried out. Alas, she had
cancer. The original diagnosis in 1998 was right. But the diagnosis at
the point of surgery was wrong.
She became seriously ill
and there were fears she could lose her life. She was in the hospital
for months and only returned to Nigeria this year when the doctors said
she was improving.
Her last public appearance was at the
National Conference in Abuja, where she was a delegate. Pictures of a
frail-looking Akumyili soon went viral on the internet.
could not ascertain the type of cancer, but there are several reports
pinpointing cervical – and some claim it was ovarian. Globally, cervical
cancer is the second most common and the fifth deadliest cancer in
women, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Akunyili died
on June 7, 2014 in India after surviving many death rumours.


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