An 18-year-old boy who suffers from chronic visual impairment has dropped out of school as his vision has worsened despite having received medical treatment in state hospitals for five years.
Since the beginning of this week the boy has not been attending classes, saying his condition is worsening. He says his eyes, which have turned reddish, are itching terribly.
Frederick Matheus, from Amilema some 20 kilometres west of Omuthiya, is a Grade 11 learner at Omuthiya Iipundi Senior Secondary School. He has been suffering chronic vision problems since 2008, when he was 10 years old.
New Era yesterday caught up with Matheus who is being raised by a single unemployed mother. He appealed to good Samaritans to assist him to acquire special spectacles for him to write his exams.
“I have gone to hospital many times but the situation is not changing for the better. After receiving eye drops the situation calms and then the pain and itching start again. It’s a circle. First trimester I was somehow fine and managed to pass my exams and came first, but the second I failed because I could not sit for two subjects as I couldn’t read nor see,” Matheus narrated his ordeal.
He adds that he can only study for 10 minutes at a time and no more than that until after a long break, which he said has affected his academic performance.
Matheus has visited the hospital nearly every month for the past five years, which could be verified in his two health passports.
“Like now as I am speaking to you I was referred to Onandjokwe Lutheran Hospital, to an eye specialist, but I cannot go there as I have no money for transport. I have been struggling but I do not receive assistance. My mom struggles as well and she is just at the village with no work or any other means of making a living. I appeal to anyone out there to provide me with spectacles – perhaps I will be fine somehow as I have suffered enough,” said Matheus.
Matheus who aspires to become a tour guide fears that his dream might not be realised if his condition persists.
“I do not want to remain like this, I want to help myself and my struggling mother and anyone who might find themselves in a similar situation in future,” he said.
Matheus said that he lives alone at Kaniita informal settlement where he is struggling to pay for his rented shack where he resides, and from where he goes to school daily. He moved to Omuthiya this year after completing his Grade 10 at his village in Amilema.