Monday January 25 2016

Families seek funds to pay for life-saving surgeries

Nine-year-old Goretti Kebirungi seeking help

Nine-year-old Goretti Kebirungi seeking help for treatment of Tuberculosis spine. Photo by Scovia Atuhaire. 

By Scovia Atuhaire & Beatrice Nakibuuka

Gorreti Kebirungi, 9 is battling Tuberculosis spine (Potts disease), an infection she got in 2010, when she was three and a half years old.
Kebirungi lives with her father Clovis Agaba and the family hails from Busoiga village, Bwanika Parish, Kichwamba Sub-county in Kabarole District.
Her father says she was born normal in 2007 but in 2010, she fell sick and her leg and spine began deforming.
“She first suffered from stomach pain but when she was taken to Virika hospital (in Fort Portal), doctors diagnosed the condition as fever and dehydration. She was put on medication,” her father narrated.

As time went on, Kebirungi started coughing heavily. She then started developing cardiac eco in the lower limb joints and the upper spine.
In April 2014, she was taken to Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital where she was examined and was found to have Tuberculosis spine. Her lungs were also affected.
Kebirungi was put on treatment for tuberculosis and requested to return to the hospital in February 2015 for another checkup.

She was taken back to hospital in March 2015 before she was referred to Mulago National Referral hospital for further management.
In December 2015, she was taken to Mulago hospital but later referred to Kampala hospital for MRI/CT scan/ultrasound report.
Dr Patrick Mukasa, a consultant radiologist concluded that Kebirungi has tuberculosis of the spine (Potts Disease) according to lab results.
Kebirungi was advised to return to Kampala hospital in February for surgery at cost of Shs4.8m, which the father doesn’t have and is appealing to Good Samaritans to help.
“I raised more than Shs1m for the tests at Kampala hospital last December, but now I don’t have money for the operation. I am appealing to government and well-wishers to help me,” said Agaba.

Kebirungi is the first born in a family of two. She cannot walk so she moves around in a wheel chair.
Clovis Agaba is a peasant but he says since the daughter fell sick he has never gone back to his usual work instead moves around with her looking for help because he does not have enough money to take his daughter to hospital.

How you can help Goretti
Kebirungi , call Clovis Agaba on telephone number, 0788 139 813.

Rheumatic heart disease

What started as a minor illness has now developed into a swelling tendency for the 40 year-old Abdul Kisame a resident of Kamwokya, a Kampala suburb.
He would fall sick all the time and used to go to pharmacies and clinics to get treatment but the medicines did not yield any results. For seven years, Kisame lived with the symptoms of fatigue, shortness of breath and swelling in the lower limbs but did not know it until he went to Mulago National Referral Hospital for proper diagnosis.
When he explained the symptoms to the doctor, he was referred to Uganda Heart Institute where he was diagnosed with Rheumatic Heart Disease with systolic dysfunction which is an impairment on the ventricle according to the reports from the Uganda Heart Institute.

He is due for an operation in Khartoum, Sudan but his family is unable to raise the money. He has been getting an injection at Shs 250,000 every week to ease breathing but the doctors say the medicine is not working anymore. As a result, his whole body is swollen, painful and he is unable to pass urine. The only option is to have him operated and the more time that passes before his operation the more complicated the situation will become.

As told to

For any help, please call 0773 363 765 or 0704 659 528