Agua rediscovers hope after receiving treatment for her leg and arm

Stories | July 8, 2021

Agua hopes and dreams of one day working in a hospital.

In 2018, however, life for Agua was not so hopeful. Living in a very poor area of the city in South Sudan, sharing a house and bathroom with her neighbours, Agua fell ill and started to suffer greatly. Assuming it was diabetes, Agua and her mother consulted traditional medicine doctors and began knocking at the doors of several hospitals to seek treatment. No one could help.

By 2020, Agua and her mother had begun to lose hope. This was until they met and were counselled by a Community Based Inclusive Development worker from a CBM project partner who advised them to go to Usratuna – the local centre for children with disabilities. CBM had worked with partners in Juba, South Sudan, to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities through the promotion of rights and access to health and rehabilitation services, inclusive education and livelihood opportunities.

At the centre, Agua was assessed and received telehealth advice from a more specialised hospital in Uganda. Finally, Agua had a diagnosis of multiple osteomyelitis – an auto-inflammatory disorder that has affected part of her right leg and arm. She was referred to the hospital in Uganda for treatment straight away.

Upon starting the treatment, improvements were immediately visible. In early 2020 however, Agua’s treatment plan was changed as border closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic meant that she could no longer travel to Uganda for treatment.

To prevent the bone infection from spreading, Agua was treated three times a week by nurses at Usratuna. However, with the city in lockdown, transport was not only limited, but it also became very expensive. To ensure families did not abandon their treatment due to increased travel costs, CBM partners provided transport for children like Agua, to and from the centre. With her transport arranged, Agua was able to continue receiving treatment and is now on the road to recovery.

Agua said that the treatment she received from CBM partners and the hospital in Uganda was the only real treatment that made her “rediscover hope.”

CBM acknowledges the support of the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

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