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Extra-curricular activities save boy’s leg from amputation

A DISABLED pupil at Salvation Army Matumaini Primary School in Dar es Salaam, Aloyce Kazimoto was to lose his disabled left leg after surgeons at Muhimbili Orthopedic Institute (MOI) decided amputation was the best option to help him.

The thirteen year-old boy had already lost his right leg through amputation and the remained one was disabled which impaired his physical movement. To doctors it was a case of an impaired lower limb which needed to be removed.

Misfortunes never come singly, so says the old adage, and it describes well the woes of the young Aloyce. His right arm has been amputated from the elbow and the left one is disabled. The Standard Five pupil was going through hard times in life. His disability was a difficult he had to deal with.

However, it became a necessary element of individual growth which revealed his true potential. Instead of becoming a hopeless beggar, he was an entrepreneur. He was using the very limb that was to be removed to make wallets and handbags.

The school physiotherapists, Daniel Bwegule, says Aloyce uses the remaining part of his right arm, the left arm and the leg in stitching when making the wallets and handbags and therefore removing the leg would trigger more problems to the boy.

What MOI doctors opted therefore was to rehabilitate the leg in efforts to make it match with his artificial one, on the right side, the physiotherapist narrated further. He said Aloyce leg was bent and orthopedics at MOI have been trying to adjust it to its normal position.

The first surgery done some days back was successful. The next one that will make him wear shoes would be conducted early next month. Aloyce, who uses a wheelchair will no longer need that after the final surgery, said his surgeon at MOI, Bryson Mcharo.

Dr Mcharo said he was optimistic that the operation to be conducted by a team of surgeons would be successful. They will assess the strength of his muscles before to make sure it would be able to withstand the process.

“The muscles are stable. I assure you that the operation will be successful. It is true that we opted to rehabilitate the leg instead of removing it so that Aloyce can continue with his,” he said. Aloyce told the ‘Daily News’ that he struggles to work and study hard so that he can help his mother, the only one who takes care of the family after the father ran away.

His father ran way soon after Aloyce was born, saying the disabled boy couldn’t be his. “That is how my mother told me. We are three children and I’m the last born. We were born in Morogoro region but currently living in Mlandizi of Coast Region where our mother usually sales vegetables for me and my elder brother’s survival.

My brother is in a second year (form two) of his secondary education while our elder sister has already got married,” he said. Aloyce thanked the donors who support his studies at Salvation Army Matumaini Primary school, saying he tries his best level to attain his dream of becoming a medical doctor.

He also expressed his gratitude to MOI and his school administration for considering his organs’ rehabilitations, assuring to fully engage in entrepreneurship activities once the doctors succeed to return his organ back to normal situation.

He said that his current disability impedes his efforts to make at-least four to five wallets and two handbags a day. His recovery will enable him meet the target. His class teacher, Ms Edith Ngowi said that the boy was always trying to do the best in class works.

“He is in top five number since he was in class one,” she said. He performs well in Mathematics, Science and Civics. He is also performing well in drawing, according to his teacher, calling up on more stakeholders to develop his all talents.

“He is committed to both class and extra-curricular activities. He is eager to practice whatever comes on his way, be it football, drawing, knitting…. but his disability impairs him,” she said. “Aloyce can do wonders once in good physical condition, let the public, government and donors support him.”

Matumaini is a primary boarding school for disabled and children with albinism. It has been operating for over 20 years with nearly 200 children attending the school from communities around Tanzania.

Located at the Salvation Army property in Temeke, it maintains the highest educational standards as set by the Ministry of Education. In addition to education, it provides physical therapy and operates a workshop for among others, the manufacturing and repair of walking appliances and chairs.

ON March 16, 2020, Minister of Health, Social ...

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Author: ABELA MSIKULA

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