Bedridden pensioner needs help

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Selma Ikela

Windhoek-A bedridden pensioner who suffers from various health problems needs assistance to stock up on adult diapers and nutritious food to improve her condition.
Aina Iitembu, 61, suffered a stroke 13 years ago that caused her to leave her Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry job.

She was then registered for a disability grant from the government, which has been her only source of income since.

The grant was, however, discontinued after Itembu became a pensioner and she now benefits from Government’s old-age pension of N$ 1 100 per month.

Iitembu is epileptic and suffers from high blood pressure and is also on anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment.

The pensioner told Nampa recently she lived in Okahao in the Omusati Region, but moved to Windhoek four years ago after her children reportedly neglected her.
Her niece, Ndinelao Ndeiweva, 28, brought Iitembu to Windhoek to look after her.

She complements her aunt’s pension with the little income she earns as a domestic worker.

Ndeiweva said Iitembu’s children would allegedly not feed her and would only collect their mother when it is time for her disability grant payout and would not spend a dime on her.

Ndeiweva said her aunt has tried to take her own life on several occasions, because she feels she will not get better.

The two women live in Windhoek’s impoverished Kilimanjaro informal settlement on the northern outskirts of the city.

They get water from a communal water point and also make use of communal toilets. They have no electricity and use an open fire for cooking and to lighten up the dark skies of the night.

Iitembu’s health deteriorated last month when Ndeiweva, who is heavily pregnant, was admitted to hospital and had to leave Iitembu on her own. Ndeiweva asked her neighbours to check on her aunt and feed her, but Iitembu did not want to eat their food.

Ndeiweva then informed nurses at the Katutura State Hospital of her aunt’s condition, and they admitted her there for a short period of time.
She developed bed sores on her body which would not heal.

Iitembu could walk before she was admitted to hospital, but her health had already deteriorated and caused her to become bedridden.

As a result, Iitembu wears adult diapers which are costly for her and she is forced to use them sparingly.

During the day she sleeps on linen savers, which are disposable sheets used to protect bedding and mattresses. These too, are running out.
Iitembu is only scheduled to see a doctor in July.

Ndeiweva explained to this agency that the pension grant Iitembu gets is not enough as she visits the hospital up to four times a month, buy diapers and also feed herself with the money.

She uses a wheelchair for the hospital visits.
Community health workers and social workers who do routine visits in the community, recently visited her aunt. They recommended her doctor write her a letter to get e’Pap, a pre-cooked soft porridge with minerals and vitamins that is easy to digest, on prescription.

Iitembu said she is happier now that her niece takes care of her, saying she is now a “human being”.

“My own children threw me away. They just ate up my money with their women when I was in the north,” she said. – Nampa

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