Disabled youth’s pharmacist dream wanes over lack of electric wheelchair

Mr Norman Kanaabi being assisted by her mother Ms Nuulu Nakyeyune in an attempt to move on January 20, 2022. PHOTO/FRED MUZAALE 

What you need to know:

  • Her peasant mother, Ms Nakyeyune, explains that she struggled to raise him from the time he was born with rare conditions.

Twenty-one year-old Norman Kanaabi falls down as he tries to walk at their home compound in Kyampisi Village, Kayunga Town Council in Kayunga District.

Struggling but with the help of a clutch, he stands up before he fails to make a single step, forcing him to instantly sit down.

Unless assisted by another person, Ms Nuulu Nakyeyune says, her son cannot move independently.

Amidst his plight, the former student of Seeta High Green Campus scored 17/20 points in Physics, Chemistry and Biology and sub-Maths (PCB/S/Mtc) in the 2021 Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) exams.

“I have already been admitted at Makerere University for Pharmacy on government sponsorship but I may not report on January 29 because I don’t have an electric wheelchair to facilitate my mobility,” the shy and soft-spoken Kanaabi told this publication.

Asked why he is specific on an electric wheel chair, Kanaabi said: “I can’t wheel the manual one by myself.”

Her peasant mother, Ms Nakyeyune, explains that she struggled to raise him from the time he was born with rare conditions.

“When I gave birth to him, I cried because I thought I had given birth to a snake. He was coiled like a snake and some people advised me to abandon it in my house but I refused,” Ms Nakyeyune recounts.

Although he is mentally sound and speaks well, Kanaabi’s legs and hands are visibly weak and can’t stretch.

“I lacked money and could not take my baby for specialized diagnosis and treatment. That’s why I resorted to using local herbs mixed with jelly to treat his condition but all in vain,” Ms Nakyeyune told this publication.

Destined to shine academically, Kanaabi started school at Kitatya RC Primary School in Kitimbwa Sub-county, Kayunga District.

“I was shocked when he scored aggregate 7 in 2014 Primary Leaving Examination (PLE) and won a scholarship from Brac, a micro-finance institution,” Ms Nakyeyune said.

He would then be admitted to Seeta High School for post primary education from Senior one to six.

At Seeta High School, Mr Kanaabi says “he was often assisted by close friends to move but sometimes missed meals in the event that friends forgot him.”

“It is a different story at university. No one can help you to move all the time as everyone minds his business,” Kanaabi who also struggles to bathe and wash his clothes expresses concern over his “pharmacist dream that’s waning.”

Call for help

According to Ms Kyeyune, her attempts to obtain an electric wheelchair for her son through area local leaders have been unsuccessful.

“I appeal to well-wishers to help my son realize his dream of becoming
a pharmacist,” the mother of 8 children urged.

The Kayunga District chairman, Mr Andrew Muwonge said “authorities sympathize with Mr Kanaabi but they lack resources to come to his aid.”

For assistance to Mr Kanaabi-  call 0704262058 or 0708568565.

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