Lesions ravage teenager’s body

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Loide Jason
Okomizema

A15-year-old boy from Okomizema village, about 176 kilometres south of Ruacana in the Omusati Region, is in constant pain due to lesions on his face and all over his body that cause excruciating pain.

Asser Keenatuka’s face, fingers and body are covered with unsightly lesions.
According to his grandmother, Taimi Shikwambi, who takes care of the boy, after he was released from hospital the sores on his skin started developing all over his body, including his fingers, mouth, back, buttocks, waist and head.

She said the wounds at times bleed non-stop, causing great discomfort to the boy. “I’ve tried to take him back to the hospital, but we only get a liquid medicine to apply and told to go back home,” she said.

“Whenever we apply that medicine the lesions swell and cause immense pain for my grandchild,” she said. However, she has started going to a different hospital to look for a different prescription, hoping the wounds will be treated.

“When I went to Oshakati hospital they finally admitted my boy. They conducted surgery, but soon after he got home the wounds started to bleed again,” she said. She has now lost hope that her grandchild will be healed.

She said due to the condition of the wound, the teen does not attend school, as he is afraid to be ridiculed. “I told him that he will not go to school because other children will laugh at him. Children are naughty maybe they will touch the wound,” she said.

She said Keenatuka’s body is very sensitive and it needs extra care. Keenatuka also seems to have very poor dental hygiene and his yellowed and loose teeth are on the verge of falling out. Keenatuka also looks much younger than his age.

He eats only soft food, such as porridge and milk. The meat has to be overcooked to be soft enough for him to eat. According to Shikwambi, Keenatuka also sleeps on a very soft place to protect his lesions from bleeding.

She appealed to specialist skin doctors, who might have knowledge of her long-suffering grandchild’s illness to come to their aid.

Shikwambi said she started taking care of Keenatuka when he was but three months old, because there was a high possibility his mother was going to reject the child because of his condition.

“At least I am getting a social grant. I can take care of my grandson [better] than a mother who is unemployed and moved to urban cities to look for a job,” she said.

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