He constantly panted for breath as he spoke about his poor health condition that has been caused by an enlarged goitre that requires at least US$700 for an operation to remove it.
by Ropafadzo Mapimhidze
A goitre is a swelling of the neck or larynx that results in enlargement of the thyroid gland.
Mackenzie Mushaatu, aged 67, was supposed to have this growth removed on December 10 but because of a lack of funds, this operation was not possible.
“Walking is a big problem and sleeping is very uncomfortable as I have to face upwards.
“Breathing is difficult and because none of my children are employed, I have come to seek help,” Mushaatu said.
He was accompanied by his nephew Mukadota Mushaatu who said he had wanted to raise this money but was retrenched last year before the operation had been conducted.
“He has to sit down all the time every time he walks because he becomes breathless and hence the reason why I have accompanied him to NewsDay newsroom.
“I sleep with him at my lodgings and the breathing patterns are just bad,” Mukadota said.
Mushaatu said he developed the goitre when he was aged four but the growth ballooned when he was 63.
He said he has been to a leading government hospital in Harare but the fees were prohibitive and hence decided to go Karanda Mission Hospital in Mount Darwin where most poor people resort to because of the affordable fees.
According to part of a scan report by C. Mateta an advanced practitioner sonographer from Clearview Medical Ultrasound dated December 13, 2014 reads: “Extensive neck mass covering the superior, inferior, anterior and both lateral neck regions noted corresponding the neck swelling.
The largest cystic necrotic centre is located within the anterior mass potion and measures 38,8 mm in length and 20mm depth.
Worldwide, the most common cause for goitre is iron deficiency, usually seen in countries that do not use iodised salt.
Goitre can also result from cyanide poisoning; this is particularly common in tropical countries where people eat the cyanide-rich cassava root as the staple food.
All those wishing to assist can contact Mackenzie Mushaatu on 0779984464, Mukadota Mushaatu on 0776752734 or visit the patient at 5893 Hatcliffe Extension in Harare.