|How can a
parent neglect their own child? This is a question Harriet asked
herself when she found Noweline alone in a Banana plantation.
This was not the first time we had encountered Noweline, we
first admitted her in 2012 when she was diagnosed with diabetes
and anemia caused by jiggers which she had on both her feet and
legs. She also had an eye deformity. She was 17 and only weighed
found first time at home
|We admitted her
for 3 months and during that time she was fed a balanced diet.
We took her to Mulago hospital where she had both of her eyes
operated on and from that day she was able to see well. We also
took her to diabetes clinic where she was started on a daily
time her father was charged with neglect and sent to prison.
When he was released he fully blamed Noweline for his
incarceration. As a result he sold the land he had and resettled
near the islands of Ssi in Mukono area and changed all of his
contacts and believed that his family would never be traced.
However, Harriet discovered from a neighbor where they had moved
to and through the local council representative of the village
where they stay, they were successfully found.
|This is when
Harriet encountered Noweline once again, in a banana plantation
with only a blanket and a mat. Now 19 years of age, she weighs
merely 15kgs. Since Harriet last met her, Nowelines
diabetes had not been managed well. She was able to tell the
staff at Acheru that her mother was unable to follow the
instructions the doctors gave her regarding the insulin
injections. Her mother would tell her to eat sweet potatoes
despite the doctors instruction not to. However, as
Noweline had nothing else to eat and she was hungry, she ate
Harriet found Noweline in banana plantation
|At present she
is still at Acheru and every effort is being made to regulate
her diabetes. The doctor changed her medication from injections
to tablets because of her low weight and Margaret is ensuring
that she has a good diet. Recently she has started to mix more
with the other young people at Acheru which is very encouraging
|It is sad to
think of all of her missed opportunities through such neglect.
Noweline is mentally capable however, due to her circumstance
she ceased formal education at P3. We would like to encourage
her to resume her education.
ready to leave Acheru
stated, I do not know why my parents want me to die.
It is certain that it is not in her best interests to be
returned to the care of her parents. Her situation is difficult
yet sadly not unusual, she is an adult not a child and therefore
cannot be placed in a childrens home; she is not an orphan
and therefore cannot be placed in an orphanage. We can only pray
that an organization or a compassionate family will take her in
for the long term, providing that her own parents are willing to
legalise the hand over of care by giving their formal consent.
|Reported by Joyce