Journalist Appeals for Help to Seek Treatment in Ghana

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Journalist Henry Bestman pleads for humanitarian assistance to save his hand

Journalist Henry Bestman, known popularly as “Scarface or Scarlie” who formerly worked as a desk editor at HOT PEPPER Newspaper, has called on the general public to assist him with financial assistance in the amount of USD1, 300 to seek medical attention in Ghana.

In a press release issued in Monrovia, Bestman directed his appeal to Chief Justice Francis Korkpor, Justice Minister and Attorney General Musa Dean, Assistant Minister Lafayette Gould, Mr. Charles L. Ananaba, CEO of Omega Insurance, Mr. Leonard Kransass, and other humanitarian and philanthropic organizations for help.

According to the release, Mr. Bestman, a member of the Press Union of Liberia and Association of Judicial Reporters, “has been suffering from a terrible wound below his left-hand elbow since 2004 when he caught ‘Fire Gowa.’”

Gowa comes in many forms, with “the fire type” being the most painful, according to interviews with Liberians who hail from the Southeast. It is thrown on people as revenge or sometimes as a punishment for those who offend another or someone who follows another person’s spouse. It is reported to be the cause of many deaths in the country, particularly in slum communities and also in Southeast counties (Sinoe, Grand Gedeh, Maryland, River Gee and Grand Kru).

The release said the “Fire Gowa,” which initially creates pains like there was a fire in the wound, was treated but has remained in Bestman’s wound. He is also reported to suffer from diabetes.

In his appeal, Bestman was quoted by the release as pleading to the general public to hurry and send any help that any contributor can afford to Mr. Philip Wesseh, Managing Director, The Inquirer Newspaper; he can be reached on 0886-516-533 and Mr. Charles Cuffey, president of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL).

In a release signed by Mr. Cuffey, Bestman expressed gratitude to all those that have been giving him support. He mentioned Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh, Solicitor General Darku Mulbah, Mr. Phillip N. Wesseh and Magistrate Cecil Griffiths.

Mr. Bestman is a father of three (two girls and a boy of  about 14 to 18 years of age). His condition has made it impossible for him to care for them. He has also suffered bouts of frustration as a result, which has compounded his tragedy for nearly 14 years. He has had the misfortune to become physically assaulted by many people. The children’s mother surprisingly died several months ago from what family members say was “Gowa,” that affected her foot when she worked as an immigration officer in Maryland County.

She died at the JFK Medical Center and was buried by her family. However, Bestman, who is a Roman Catholic, has promised to build a vault on her grave in Buchana. But he is yet to fulfill this wish as he battles with a wound that has caused him, frustratingly, to tell friends that, “God has forgotten him.”

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