April 2023 report: News of a Cerebral Palsy event at Acheru, and the difference treatment has made to a young boy
Acheru is part of a network of NGOs dealing with the needs of disabled children, each dealing with specific areas of need. Their effectiveness is much greater if they all work in cooperation, and Acheru both makes and receives referrals in trying to ensure that each child receives appropriate help. The Acheru site and facilities lend themselves to hosting events or conferences, bringing together different organisations, sharing expertise and news. I recently had an update from Acheru on their work with refugee organisations. Acheru hosted an event with BONDEKO, a refugee led organization working primarily with women and children who have fled from violence in Congo, and CoHERE, a recently established refugee organization working primarily in Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, and South Africa. There is a serious refugee problem in Uganda with so much happening in neighbouring countries.
I received the following report from Acheru, written by our social worker Rose.
This activity took place on 23rd February 2023. It was a collaborative effort of ACHERU in partnership with CoHERE and BONDEKO. It was a follow up activity of the assessed cerebral palsy children who were to receive gifts of learning materials and assistive devices. These included wheelchairs, cerebral palsy chairs, walking frames, standing frames, play materials, and learning materials.

It was held at ACHERU. All the assessed children were welcomed at ACHERU with their caretakers. The program started with a welcome greetings from all stakeholders and a prayer. Registration and opening up of all present patients forms was done. ACHERU organized lunch for everyone. Great mobilization of clients from different villages was done and a great number of 53 children turned up.
It was joy in faces of the caretakers and their children when the awaited time of receiving devices came. They were so grateful for unconditional love and care showed to them from all people at ACHERU always.
A mother said that "we are no longer feeling the burden of raising these children on our own. The frequent visits at our homes with great words of encouragement are keeping us strong always. Being in communities which is not so welcoming to people who are disabled leaves us torn apart. But we are strong knowing that we have a place where we can run to in search for help in case our children are not well"

It was a long day of finishing the program and all patient who had devices were fitted and adjustments were done accordingly. They all received their material and left with them. Because these devices are so heavy, ACHERU helped with transport costs for those who had come far or needed help. A number of other programs are planned for families of children with disabilities in this collaboration. Follow ups and home visits are to be done on these children to see how useful these materials are.
Written by Rose Nakabugo

Kafeero Harvin's story:
Medical Report:
Kafeero Harvin is a 5 year old boy who was brought to ACHERU with a complaint of swollen bowed left leg with exposed dead bone and pus discharging sinuses. At ACHERU, Harvin was assessed, examined and diagnosed with chronic osteomyelitis of the left tibia.
Harvin was taken to CoRSU hospital, reviewed by the orthopaedic surgeon and booked for surgery (Sequestrectomy, external fixation and biopsy) on 25/8/2021 and then discharged on 27/8/2021 back to ACHERU. Here the child had wound care, physiotherapy sessions and psycho-social support.
Harvin had different reviews by the orthopaedic surgeon, removed fixator on 29th October, 2021 and then healed well. Harvin is now looking healthy and doing well.
Social worker's report:
Parents separated and child is under the care of mother who is a casual labor. Harvin is the 2nd child in the family.
Mother says that "problem started as a small blister a year ago. He was fine during the day but when it came to evening he started crying of pain in the leg. I thought it was not serious but as time went by the crying increased, at first I thought he fell when playing with friends. He developed a high temperature and I decided to give him some painkillers because it was very late and there was no nearby clinic to help, and still I had no money to save the situation.
That night, was a sleepless one. The leg had swollen even more and he could not walk. My neighbors said that it was witchcraft, he jumped or touched evil herbs which causes that. I was so scared to hear that, a lot came in my head like losing my little boy over things I don't understand. I wondered why someone can do such to an innocent poor child, I was told maybe it was for me but the child found it first. Oh my God, all I was told started to disturb my mind. They added if it was for me I was to die but the child will not die.
This was so scaring to me, I'm a single mother trying to take care of my child, I didn't know who I wronged to deserve that. I want to take my boy to the hospital but I was advised not to do so, the people who suffered from that problem was not supposed to get injected but only to use local herbs to treat it. I regret following the advice I was given, instead of curing the bone infection it just worsened as time passed, I used the herbs for a long time.

Kafeero Harvin before treatment
A swelling turned into a wound and puss which wasn't stopping started coming, he smelled so much that only a mother could be close to him while eating. The language traditional hearers use is so strong, when small bones started to come out, he started saying that those are witches someone used.
I waited for more months and the big bone came out. At this moment I did not know what to add on, but as God works during the last minute, someone found my boy and shared with us about ACHERU.
The person used all convincing words to make us believe in what he was saying. Yes I agreed but my biggest challenge was money to pay to the hospital. He continued that the hospital is treating children and we were to be given services at a very low cost, what we needed was only transport at that time.
I thank God for the good Angel He sent to us during that time. We received the best care I had never imagined. Many people thought that the leg was to be cut off but it did not happen. My son is so fine walking with no pain and has started going to school."
Written by Rose Nakabugo, Acheru social worker

Kafeero Harvin with a fixator

Kafeero Harvin after treatment

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