Uganda: Mother Keeps Malnourished Son Indoors for 4 Years

A 30-year-old mother in Iganga District is seeking assistance to treat her six year-old son she has kept indoors for four years, leaving him paralyzed, severely malnourished with thin hands, crippled legs and white protruding eyes.

Ms Sophia Nakafero, a resident of Nkono Ward in Iganga municipality, on Monday said while her child was just one-day-old, he was plagued by a disease which manifested itself through crying and convulsions.

“Three days later, I took him to Iganga Hospital but doctors failed to diagnose him and he was referred to Mbale Hospital,” Ms Nakafero recounts.

Instead, Ms Nakafero says, she returned home due to lack of money for transport and post treatment.

“I didn’t have Shs16, 000 for transport to Mbale and treatment so I returned home and he has since been surviving on Panadol,” she said.

The mother-of-four, who says the rest of her children are ‘healthy and alive’, rents a single room which also serves as her kitchen.

Her husband Sadam Wamala fled the home leaving her and the children vulnerable and resigned to sleeping on an empty stomach, she said.

“The child only takes milk which I sometimes fail to get. As a mother, I need to bring up this child and I beg well-wishers for help,” she pleaded.

Dr Isa Isabirye, a medical doctor attached to Iganga Hospital, said the child has ‘severe cerebral palsy’.

Cerebral palsy or CP is a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood.

Signs and symptoms vary among people and over time. Common symptoms include poor coordination, stiff muscles, weak muscles, and tremors. There may be problems with sensation, vision, hearing, swallowing and speaking.

“The child could have got the illness during delivery after blood spilled into its brain and the condition was worsened by poor feeding.

“His condition is severe and requires a team of doctors who can work together and have his health improved. This can well be handled at Mulago National Referral Hospital,” Dr Isabirye said.

Source: Monitor.

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