31 Oct Juliet Nanziri becomes the first child to be treated under the Lato Help initiative
Over 28 children have been treated under the Lato Help initiative since its launch in October 2018. The program launched by Pearl Dairy Farms Limited aims to provide corrective surgeries for kids suffering from a disability.
One of the beneficiaries of this program is Juliet Nanziri who though born a normal baby, life started on a downward spiral at two months when she started falling sick.
“Since I had given birth at the hospital in Luzira Prison, I took her back when she started falling sick. The doctor kept insisting that my child had fallen even when I assured them that she hadn’t. After failing to find the real cause of the illness, I took her to Naguru General Hospital,” narrates Teopista Nakakande, Nanziri’s mother. At that time, Nanziri was convulsing and her head was swollen. At Naguru, Nanziri’s head was measured and doctors took her through some simple movements to which she responded to well.
The two were in the hospital for another week and sadly, by the end of that time, Nanziri had become paralyzed on the right side. But that was only the start of her many problems because on returning home, they discovered that her father had abandoned them. However, not all hope was lost because when Nanziri was five-and-a-half years, a friend told Nakakande about the need to get into a group where people from Uganda Society of Disabled Children would educate them on how to take care of their disabled children.
“We would meet every Sunday and we were taught about the need to save so that we can be able to meet our children’s needs,” she notes. Then in October, last year, teachers from the organisation called informing them of a hospital that was willing to help them rectify their children’s deformities.
“They told us that a vehicle would pick us from Luzira to take us to the hospital. While some embraced the idea, others were sceptical and did not buy into it,” Nakakande recalls. On their first visit, the children were examined and the hospital authorities promised to call them back.
“While I did not expect anything to come out of it, in December, they called again but I failed to go owing to some difficulties,” She says. On April 24, a doctor from UMC Victoria Hospital called again saying they were waiting for her.
“True to their word, on calling him when I reached the hospital reception, I was ushered into a room where more examinations were done,” Nakakande recalls.
Nanziri was taken for surgery only to return at 5pm with a plaster of Paris that was removed after a month, in June coupled with continuous medication.
“After that period, she started trying to walk. The beginning was rough because she still felt pain. The pain reduced gradually and today, she walks with a lot more ease than before.” Nakakande intimates.
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