Healthy Living

Boy seeks Shs20m for bladder surgery

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By Robert Muhereza

Posted  Monday, December 16  2013 at  02:00

John Kansiime is seven years old. But he looks much younger than his age because of a bladder condition that keeps him in pain and bedridden most of the time.
His parents Robert Rukundo and Josephine Mumara, residents of Nyabikoni cell in Kabale Town say their son’s condition was first diagnosed on January 4, 2006 at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital.

Doctors said he was suffering from bladder exstrophy, a birth defect in which the bladder is inside out, and sticks out of the abdominal wall. The condition also causes pelvic bones to be separated.

Dr Gilbert Mateka of Rugarama Hospital says a child born with such a bladder abnormality can be operated and treated within one month after birth, if the parents seek treatment on time.
Mumara says they did not seek treatment early because of stigma. “At the time, we were traumatised and could not tell people that our son had a problem,” she explains.

How it started
Kansiime’s mother, Mumara says she had a normal delivery with the help of a traditional birth attendant, before she realised her baby had a problem.
“After detecting the abnormality in my son, I went to Kabale hospital where I was later referred to Mulago National Referral Hospital for surgery. It was at Mulago that I was instead referred to Italy for an operation,” Mumara explains.
In Italy, the procedure is expected to cost Shs20m, money that Mumara says they have failed to raise.
So far, she says only Shs2m has been raised, with Shs 1.5m coming through the Lions’ Club of Kabale.

“We collected the money from well-wishers after listening to radio announcements asking for contributions to help this boy to go for an operation. I call on other well-wishers to contribute generously to save this boy’s life,” said Alex Baguma, the president of Lion’s Club of Kabale during the handover of the money to Kansiime’s parents.

Besides the financial needs, Mumara says it has not been easing taking care of her son for the past seven years.
“He requires a lot of care in cleaning him, and washing his clothes after every 30 minutes,” she explains.

She adds: “We have placed announcements on different local radio stations, churches schools and public notice boards seeking for contributions but little has been realised.”
Josam Tusiime, the head teacher at Nyabikoni Primary School, which Kansiime attends says his learning has been slow because of the pain.

“He goes through a lot of difficulty as urine leeks out of his open bladder through the school uniform,” says Tusiime.
“I am happy that teachers and pupils have tolerated this boy’s problem both in class and outside class. How I wish the well-wishers outside there can come to his rescue. He is well behaved and brilliant in class because he has never gone beyond position ten in his class of about 40 pupils,” Tusiime says.

To help raise funds for John Kansiime’s operation, you can make contributions through Crane Bank-Kabale Branch, account number 0141091642900.
Alternatively you can call Josephine Enid Jotham on 0785806724.