Hermaphrodite kid’s op pro­ce­dures start

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Whins­ley Masara

TESTS in prepa­ra­tion for op­er­a­tion(s) for a 10year-old from Tsholot­sho who has both fe­male and male sex­ual or­gans have kicked off.

Well-wish­ers do­nated to­wards an ini­tial $2 500 quote for an op­er­a­tion to get rid of one of the or­gans.

How­ever, spe­cial­ists have rec­om­mended more tests that have pushed the quote up.

De­pend­ing on the re­sults, more tests may be nec­es­sary.

The child also needs money for ac­com­mo­da­tion, food and trans­port with her grand­mother while she shut­tles be­tween Bu­l­awayo and Harare for the tests and op­er­a­tion(s).

She will also re­quire money for pre­scribed medicines dur­ing and after the pro­ce­dure.

The child, who can­not be named for eth­i­cal rea­sons, is suf­fer­ing from a rare con­di­tion called “am­bigu­ous gen­i­talia” — also de­scribed as hermaphroditism.

The con­di­tion, the child’s grand­mother told The Chron­i­cle, is af­fect­ing the young­ster emo­tion­ally and phys­i­cally.

Mr Frank Buyanga, the founder of the African Medal­lion Group based in South Africa do­nated $2 000.

He said: “Our driv­ing pur­pose as the African Medal­lion Group is to bring wealth to the peo­ple. It was part of our man­date that we came across this par­tic­u­lar sce­nario of the child and we felt moved to add value to that child’s life.

“I hope the op­er­a­tion goes well and look for­ward on my next visit to Bu­l­awayo to meet this kid who has been dealt a bad hand in life, es­pe­cially for one so young.”

Scores of other donors have con­trib­uted a to­tal of $480.

Fol­low­ing an ar­ti­cle that was pub­lished in The Chron­i­cle, the re­porter, Whins­ley Masara, also took the ini­tia­tive to, through so­cial me­dia plat­forms like Face­book, What­sApp and Twit­ter, ap­peal for more funds from her friends and col­leagues.

The Depart­ment of Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion at Tsholot­sho Dis­trict Hos­pi­tal and the Tsholot­sho So­cial Wel­fare Depart­ment dis­cov­ered the child was suf­fer­ing from the rare dis­or­der in 2011 and have since tried to as­sist.

The head of depart­ment at the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tre, Mr Fran­cis Mpala, said when they dis­cov­ered the con­di­tion, they re­ferred the child to a gy­nae­col­o­gist and a pae­di­a­tri­cian at Mpilo Cen­tral Hos­pi­tal who con­firmed the child was suf­fer­ing from am­bigu­ous gen­i­talia.

“A team of spe­cial­ists from Harare Hos­pi­tals looked at the child this morn­ing and have since booked her for a first surgery on Oc­to­ber 22 in Harare.

“A num­ber of tests still need to be run with chal­lenges of some doc­tors and pathol­o­gists de­mand­ing United States dol­lars as form of pay­ment,” said Mr Mpala.

Mr Martin Makonese, a ra­dio­g­ra­pher at Royal Ar­cade in Bu­l­awayo, has done free ul­tra sound scans for the child.

“The child lives with a grand­mother in a very poor back­ground and suf­fers from mal­nu­tri­tion. The child was once treated in 2011 at Mpilo Cen­tral Hos­pi­tal where they re­alised an op­er­a­tion was re­quired to cor­rect the am­bigu­ous gen­i­talia con­di­tion. She has con­stantly been re­viewed at Tsholot­sho Dis­trict Hos­pi­tal,” said Mr Mpala.

“This is a rare con­di­tion but the doc­tors con­firmed that surgery could be per­formed lo­cally.”

The child’s wid­owed grand­mother said the young­ster was born with the con­di­tion.

She said the child did not seem to mind about her con­di­tion but “now that she’s grow­ing up, it’s tor­ment­ing her and a so­lu­tion has to be found.”

“This is a weird sit­u­a­tion in so­ci­ety and as much as the child may not have been af­fected in the past years, the sit­u­a­tion has changed. Friends and school­mates are not aware of the con­di­tion but teach­ers are. This is af­fect­ing the child’s health be­cause right now pu­bic hair is grow­ing and I shave it ev­ery now and then. My fear is more com­pli­ca­tions will arise and tor­ment the child,” the grand­mother said.

The mother left for South Africa and her where­abouts are not known while the fa­ther is also not known.

Well-wish­ers can con­tact Whins­ley Masara on 0776 263 533 or Mr Mpala on 0776 450 919. — @win­nie_­masara

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