Story By: Alex Cope, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
The poor family of this one-year-old boy who was born with a rare condition where his skin has grown over his eyes leaving them permanently sealed shut have been told they will need 100,000 GBP for an operation to open them.
One-year-old Wells Chishala was born with a rare condition called Microphthalmia in which both his eyes appear covered with skin, as can be seen in this photo.
His 18-year-old mother Belani Mambwa, who is from Samfya District in Zambia’s Luapula Province went to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) hospital in the capital city of Lusaka two weeks after his birth so her son could be checked by experts.
They remained in the hospital for two months before being told to return to their village. She then returned to the hospital in August and was reportedly told her son would be operated on.
She says doctors said scans showed the chances of him having normal sight after an operation were high but they then demanded the family pay 2 million ZMW (105,256 GBP) for the surgery to be carried out.
The young mother told the medical team she could not afford the surgery as she “does not have any money” and she was advised to speak to the hospital’s Social Welfare Department.
However, the department reportedly said they did not have the funds to help pay for the operation and she says her son has not received any medical treatment since.
Zambia’s Ministry of Health public relations officer Stanslous Ngosa told reporters he had submitted information to a clinic specialist about the case and was awaiting a response.
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