Strange skin disease torments Nkasi family

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THE chronic fungal skin that infected nine members of the same family has caused great fear among residents of Nkata area of Kate Village, Nkasi District, in Rukwa Region as they dread contracting the highly contagious disease.

This was revealed when the ‘Daily News’ interviewed Kate Catholic Church Parish Priest, Fr Jofrey Kitaya who was greatly shocked when he met, for the first time, the 13- year old Peter Kazumba who is suffering from the infection that has left him badly deformed.

Fr Kitaya told this paper at his residence that on Easter Monday, he found Peter fast asleep besides a wall at St Anna Dispensary that is run by catholic nuns in Kate Village.

The teenager, who has never attended school due to malady has an open burnt wound on his right knee and looks older than his age while his malformed body generates a foul smell.

“When saw the boy, I was shocked and perturbed, so I took the poor boy to the convent where nun fed him…It needs rare courage to entertain the boy,” said Fr Kitaya.

Upon arrival at Kate Village on Tuesday, Fr Kitaya accompanied this reporter to St Ann Dispensary hoping to meet the boy, but had already been taken by his father home. It was at that moment, Fr Kitaya together with Kate Health Centre in-charge, Peter Abdallah, accompanied this reporter to Nkata where we met the boy and his father.

The biological father of the boy, Martin Kazumba (36), said the boy has been treated at the neighbouring Mvimwa Health Centre for five years with little success as he doesn’t respond to treatment.

“I’m now bankrupt. I have spent all the resources I had for the treatment of my child for five continuous years, but his condition continues to deteriorate …. Worse still, my wife and five other children including our one-year old last born contracted the disease.

The mother of the boy and his siblings were absent during the interview as they were said to have gone for distant errands. The boy, Peter, besought President John Magufuli and other good Samaritans who will be touched by his story to help him get treatment. “I’m not feeling comfortable to continue living, as my age mates, neighbours have abandoned me.

They do not want to either play or share meals with me,” Peter said. A cross section of Nkata Villagers interviewed by this paper admitted that they have abandoned the affected family for fear of contracting what they call “strange disease”.

“It is not a secret that we neighbours are afraid of going to the house of the Kazumba family for fear of contracting the disease that seemingly has no cure,” said Mr Ignas Kipeta from Nkata area.

The Kate Health Centre in-Charge, Abdallah described the disease as Adematomycosis which is a chronic fungal skin infection which he said though manageable clinically, it is highly contagious.

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