By: Aja Musu Bah-Daffeh
A 13-year-old girl and native of Jarra Soma, Kumba Jallow, is soliciting immediate assistance for overseas treatment. Kumba is suffering from a severe ailment called ‘Rheumatic Heart Disease’, diagnosed by the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) in 2021.
According to her medical report from EFSTH, Kumba is chronically ill-looking, evident by prominent rib bones, pale, afebrile, anicteric, and cyanosed. The report indicated that Kumba is not clubbed and not edematous and has no palpable lymphadenopathies.
“Kumba was admitted at our Pediatric Special Care Unite for easy fatigability, gradual weight loss, inability to lie flat and fast heart beat that started a year ago, cough and fever and she is currently being followed up at our cardiology clinic,” the medical report stated.
The report further explained that Kumba has a weight of 17kg which corresponds to the weight of a 5-year-old child and a length of 126cm which corresponds to an 8-year-old child.
Ablie Leigh, Kumba’s maternal uncle, asserted that the ailment has caused Kumba to drop out of school and made her very small like a child. He lamented that they are not from a well to do family, thus, they cannot foot the bills of his niece’s overseas treatment.
“My family is mainly engaged in farming and that is why my sister (Kumba’s mother) has given her to me 3 months ago. Kumba could not stand still or work when first I brought her from Soma, but with the help of the treatment she is now receiving from EFSTH, she has been able to walk properly,” Ablie explained.
Samba Dem, a close friend to Ablie residing in Tallinding, said his friend is not financially stable and cannot afford to pay Kumba’s medical bill.
“During the rainy season, Ablie goes to the village for farming then returns after harvest. I train him on how to do plumbing because with skills, he can be enhanced and equally fend for his family’s needs,” Said Dem.
Therefore, both Ablie and Samba, are seeking sponsorship or assistance for Kumba to be immediately taken overseas to commence her treatment before it’s too late.
They said it has been affirmed from the doctor that Kumba cannot be cured in The Gambia. Thus, they are urging the government, NGOs, philanthropists, Samaritans and private sectors to help the heart disease patient in getting a cure.
For any assistance, Ablie can be contacted on 7985568/5238688 or Samba on 3900666/7037666 or the reporter Aja Musu on 3255745/9456834.