MEMORY Saidi (30) of Makorokoto Farm, outside Marondera, moves around the house employing all manner of tricks to silence her crying one-year-old daughter, Gebu, who is in pain.
BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
Gebu, the last of four children, is suffering from a condition called hydrocephalus that has grown to abnormal levels, leaving the little girl with a heavily-
The rare condition once forced Saidi to consult faith healers, but without respite as it worsened, leaving the young mother in confusion and perhaps blaming the Creator for neglecting her child.
“I have been to faith healers. At times the swelling would recede after prayers. However, a few months ago, it worsened despite the prayers. I was scared. Gebu is at the verge of losing eyesight as the swelling will soon cover her eyes,” she said.
Hydrocephalus is a condition that occurs when fluid builds up in the skull and causes the brain to swell. The name means “water on the brain”.
Brain damage can occur as a result of the fluid build-up. This can lead to developmental, physical, and intellectual impairments. It requires treatment to prevent serious complications. The condition mainly occurs in children and adults over 60, but young adults can get it too.
But the Saidi’s family’s problems would soon be a thing of the past, as officials from a local non- governmental organisation came to collect the baby to undergo surgery at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in Harare.
The assistance came when the family had lost hope, believing their daughter was suffering from an incurable condition.
“It is every parent’s dream to have a child living a normal life. Gebu is always crying and it pains me a lot to see her like that. But I am happy that So We Care has come to assist us,” she said.
“We had lost hope after visiting faith healers to assist us, but nothing happened. At times it seemed as if there was a change but the condition would worsen. I am hopeful that my baby will be treated and return home to live a normal life.”
Gebu’s plight attracted the attention of Marondera-based educationist-cum-bishop, Cleopas Kundiona, whose church, God’s Community, has also offered finacial as well as moral support to her.
Speaking during the send-off, Kundiona said real Christians are the ones who assist the needy.
“We are happy as a church that Gebu has finally found assistance. I would love to thank all those who parted with their cash and other things so that the girl gets assistance,” he said.
So We Care director, David Kaitano, said people should seek medical help since the condition is manageable. He advised people to seek help from professional medical personnel first before seeking assistance from faith healers.
“This condition is manageable and we have assisted a lot of children suffering from hydrocephalus. I advise people to seek assistance from professional medical personnel before anything else. Gebu will undergo an operation on October 26 [Thursday] and she will be fine. We have assisted a lot of children with such a condition and it is a matter of time for Gebu, soon she will be living a normal life like other children,” he said.
Kaitano, who founded the organisation after his child suffering from the same condition had a successful operation to manage the condition, urged those who have children with hydrocephalus not to be scared as it can be contained.
Under the custody of So We Care, Saidi is currently in Harare waiting for the day her baby will undergo the corrective medical procedure. She is anticipating for the day and she cannot wait to return home to meet the rest of the family a rejuvenated soul with a healthy baby.