Fundraising for rare diseases begins

People living with rare diseases and disabilities at Burombo flats on Saturday

A BULAWAYO-BASED organisation has launched an appeal for financial assistance to cater for people suffering from rare diseases in the city.

The appeal was made by Rare Diseases and Disabilities Africa Foundation (RaDDA) founder, Tinotenda Mudarikwa, who said people with disabilities, especially the elderly, are struggling to put food on the table for their families.

“Most of them have been abandoned by their children who went to neighbouring South Africa and it is a sad situation,” Mudarikwa said.

“We last had American donors from 2018 to 2020. We are seeking support from well-wishers for our programme and activities.”

The RaDDA founder revealed that he has a rare disease called imperforate anus, a condition that affects one in 5 000 live births and he has been having surgeries since birth.

“In simpler terms, I was born with no anal opening, I had to go through several surgeries to create an artificial anal opening. Since birth, I have had five surgeries. My last surgery procedure was done in 2022,” Mudarikwa said.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, the foundation, in collaboration with Nozizwe Mother of Nations Trust and Miracle Christian Ministries Pelandaba Assembly, held a joint commemoration of Rare Disease Day, International Wheelchair Day and  World Birth Defects Day where 50 people living with rare diseases at Burombo flats in Bulawayo met.

“Some are in need of wheelchairs, crutches and white canes for the visually impaired, they were very thankful when we managed to provide lunch on the day, some were saying they did not remember the last time they had a meal with that much meat,” Mudarikwa said.

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