- Cases of Intestinal Stoma on the rise
- Group appeals to the government to create an awareness campaign for Stoma children across the country
Cases of Children born with Intestinal Stoma, also known as Imperforate anus whereby the anus might be absent, being in the wrong position, or having an abnormal connection to a nearby tissue, is on the rise.
A group of 250 mothers from Juja, Kiambu County, dubbed as Stoma community-based organization, whose children suffer from the disorders narrated the stressful journey they bear with raising their kids.
Led by Elizabeth Mwega the founder of the Stoma Community-based organization, the mothers said that most of them have been abandoned by their husbands and got rejected by the community who claimed that they are either bewitched or cursed.
“Tumeshuhudia kutengwa haswa na baadhi ya mabwana zetu wanapoona motto hayuko sawa wanatoroka majukumu,”she said.
Mwega told journalists that the reason they formed the group is to motivate each other in the journey of raising their kids by supporting and participating in joint ventures to raise money to cater for the kid’s basic needs.
“Tuko na Watoto ambao hawana njia ya choo …wanapata surgeries tatu..ya kwanza nikumrescue anawekewa stoma then tunatengenezewa ile njia ya choo..then tunaenda ya mwisho inaitwa closure tehn motto anakuwa vizuri..lakini kabla ya hiyo kuna changamoto tele…Changamoto ni kufuatilia clinics…na bei ghali pia,”
Through activities like making detergents, beads work, manicures and pedicures, they have been able to meet their kids pressing needs.
While noting that the disorder is usually treatable, Mwega noted that the children undergo up to seven surgeries to fix an artificial waste passageway, and final one to restore the normal way.
She noted that the surgeries, usually conducted at Kenyatta National Hospital, are costly as they gobble up close to Ksh 1 million.
She noted that the monthly clinics are also costly as they cost about Ksh 5000.
Awareness Needed to Tackle Stoma
Mary Njeri, a mother whose 13 year old child has the condition decries colostomy bag prices. The bag costs around Ksh 950 while the children are required to use three bags per day.
“Watoto wetu wanapokosa njia ya choo wanakuwa na fistula…fistula ya mtoto mvulana ni shida sana..Nimekuwa na mtoto kama huyu, tunaenda clinic kila mwezi…watoto pia wanakuwa na shida ya moyo, ya stoma na ya calcium,’
She called on well-wishers to chip in and support the group with financial help as well as equip them so that they can thrive in their ventures.
While calling on parents with such children to desist from hiding them, Hannah Wairimu said that the condition is treatable noting that her kid was successfully treated and is now in school.
Engineer Robert Ndirangu, a businessman in Juja appealed to the government to create an awareness campaign for Stoma children across the country to beat the stigma that the parents are usually subjected to.
Ndirangu also urged men to be responsible and take care of such kids instead of abandoning their families and leaving their spouses with the burden of raising the kids.
By Milo George