Help sought for toddler with hole in heart

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A two-year-old girl from Baziliyo Viillage Traditional Authority (TA) Zulu in Mchinji, Elube Kang’ombe, who was diagnosed with a rare heart condition called Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) needs K250, 000 to go to India for treatment.

Elube was diagnosed with the defect in October, 2019 and has been receiving treatment at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) where it has been recommended that she should go to India for further treatment.

The child with her mother

Her Mother, Aliness Njovu said that since birth her daughter has been having problems with her breathing and a has tough time playing with her mates since she tires easily and is frequently coughing at times coupled with panic attacks.

According to her, Elube is in and out of the hospital almost each and every month since birth.

She said that her daughters’ diagnosis was at first misdiagnosed as pneumonia which made it difficult for doctors to prescribe the right medication for her.

“Since birth I have been with her at the district hospital for pneumonia treatment almost each and every month. Last year in September, I decided to have her tested for tuberculosis. It was while there where I was advised to go to Lilongwe where then Elube was referred to the Paediatrics section where she was diagnosed with VSD,” said Njovu.

According to Dr Treasure Mkaliainga, a Paediatric Associate at KCH, Government of Malawi will foot all their travel, accommodation and medical expenses.

However, Elube’s mother and relatives are required to source their own funds for processing Indian Visas and passports to enable them to travel to India for Elube’s treatment.

“It is our plea to the public as well as well-wishers and the corporate world to help them source the required funds which is approximately K 250,000,” she said.

Elube’s medical treatment as it stands, hangs in the balance and her chance at life is in the hands of well-wishers as her mother and relatives on their own cannot afford to foot the required bill for passport and visa processing.

Both her parents are primary school dropouts who are finding it hard to make ends meet and this situation has further pushed them in a very tight corner.

According to Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research in United States of America, Ventricular Septal Defect, a hole in the heart, is a common heart defect that is present at birth.

The hole defect occurs in the wall (septum) that separates the heart’s lower chambers (ventricles) and allows blood to pass from the left to the right side of the heart.

The oxygen-rich blood then gets pumped back to the lungs instead of out to the body, causing the heart to work harder.

Signs and symptoms of serious heart defects often appear during the first few days, weeks or months of a child’s life.

VSD symptoms in a baby may include: loss of appetite, fast breathing or breathlessness, and easy tiring.

Those willing to lend a helping hand to Elube’s family can contact a Mr. Njovu who is Elube’s grandfather on this number 0990386602 for further details.

 

By George Chikhadwe and Wishes Mumba – Mana

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