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September 2014 report
The community work is thriving at Acheru thanks to Harriet, our community based rehabilitation worker and her team. There are still many children in Uganda who have not received medical intervention despite their disability. Partly this is due to neglect or indeed the stigma attached to having a child who is disabled. Along with Rose, Harriet has visited 50 children in the community in the past month. Of these 38 were old patients and 12 of them were new. Harriet has chosen to share with us the stories of two new children that they met and who Acheru has consequently been helping.
Kirabo Robinah is a young girl of 6 years of age. She was born prematurely and as a result she is severely disabled. She has brain damage, she cannot stand or sit unaided and has to be fed through a nasal gastric tube. To add to Robinah’s difficulty, she was born with HIV having contracted it from her mother before birth. Both receive anti-retroviral drugs for this. She lives with her mother as sadly her father abandoned them due to Robinah’s disability.
Robinah’s mother is doing her best in the situation she has found herself in. However, having visited them in their home, Harriet identified a number of needs which could make life significantly better for Robinah and her mother. Acheru has therefore ordered a wheel chair for Robinah which will greatly help her mother who currently has to carry her everywhere. This will also make attending medical appointments much easier. In addition to this Harriet felt it necessary for Acheru to provide a CP chair to assist Robinah maintain a sitting position rather than lying down the majority of the time. Certainly the provision of these appliances will vastly improve the quality of life for this mother and daughter.
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Kwi David is 11 years old. Harriet encountered him when she travelled to Busoga to carry out her community work. He comes from a family of 7 children and his mother takes all responsibility of looking after them as their father abandoned the family. She works as a peasant farmer and tries to do her best for her children but it is not easy.
David’s mother says that he was born with the disability. It would seem that he has only a tibia and no fibula. Life for him is difficult and he is increasingly finding it hard to travel to school because it is some distance away. Acheru has referred him for medical attention and it is hoped that whatever treatment is put in place will greatly benefit him in terms of leading a normal life.
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The community work of Acheru is not without its challenges. It is the hope of Harriet and her team that they can reach out to as many children in need as possible. This is not easy due to the stigma attached to disability that can exist in some communities. Quite often disabled children are kept hidden from view and so help is cruelly denied. A further challenge is that some of these children live deep within the villages and as we approach rainy season accessing these areas becomes increasingly difficult. Please remember these challenges and pray for the work of the community team that disabled children will be discovered and life changing treatment provided.

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