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Ronny Ochieng's Story

Ronny Ochieng is a one and half years old son to Esther Akinyi, a seventeen years old last born girl in a family of seven .The live at Nyamasaria in Esther’s parents two roomed semi-permanent home on a half an acre piece of land shared among her three brothers. Her father and mother are deceased, Ronny’s mother couldn’t disclose who the father of her child was, as she said she wasn’t quite sure. She said she conceived him after her father died. She said after his death, there was no one to take care of her she, therefore, resulted to keeping several men to take care of her until she discovered she was pregnant and all her men abandoned her.

Ronny and the Mother On Admission

She currently is being supported by her brother who works as a bodaboda rider in Nyamasaria but she occasionally washes people’s clothes in different estates to supplement her brothers’ income. They occasionally plant sorghum on their remaining plot of land Ronny’s mother says she went through a normal pregnancy, even though she didn’t attend all the antenatal clinics. She had a normal delivery at home assisted by her brother’s wife as at the time of her labor she couldn’t afford the fare to reach the hospital. The child was born normal, but the mother says she didn’t look at her child’s eyes as she assumed her son was fine. She said it was only after nine months that a visiting friend noticed her child had some spots on his eyes. She says she thought at first they would go on their own, but when she shared her worries with the brother, he pointed out to her that the child was not normal. She says people used to mock her that her child turned up with eye defects because she was too young to give birth. Esther had resigned to her fate, as she said getting to pay for fare and other treatment costs were beyond her reach. Her neighbor advised her to come to Sabatia but she wasn’t able to come immediately as she depended on her brother to help her access the Hospital. She said the furthest places she had ever been was Kisumu town and she wasn’t sure she could trace the hospital. He brother brought her to the hospital to have her son checked, but they couldn’t even afford the five hundred shillings consultation fee. They only had two hundred shilling, and the brother had an old Nokia Phone “Mulika mwizi” which he wanted to use as collateral to her his sister’s son checked.

Ronny and after Surgery

After a check-up, the child was diagnosed with a congenital cataract and was booked for small incision surgery the following day After surgery in the right eye, and removal of the bandage the mother noted that he was following objects and light. She couldn’t hide her joy as she screamed, Hayaaa.. anaona.. Daktari.. ni kama anaona sasa.. Meaning. He can see. Doctor. It’s like he can see .She continued saying.. Haki sikuamini mtoto wangu anaweza ona. Na kumbe Sabatia inaweza kweli. Sasa hakuna story ya kuwa topic kwa village. kila mtu kuniongelea na mtoto wangu.. Najua nilikuwa mdogo ..lakini siamini hio ndo ilifanya mtot wangu kuwa na shida ya macho. Meaning I don’t believe my child can now see. Sabatia eye hospital is great. Am now relieved that people will not be talking about me and my son. I know I was young to a mother but I didn't think that was the reason my child had eye problems. Ronny is still too young and he hasn’t started school yet. He has been booked to have the second surgery and review after two weeks. A telephone call one week to the mother pointed out that, Ronny was now confident in Crawling, previously he just sat down more especially after bumping into objects. She says he has also started walking. Young parents face numerous challenges when their children suffer disability. Many are not aware of the relevant help available for their children. Social stigma is also more pronounced among young mothers. Awareness creation, therefore, remains the most important tool to help such parents from such situations

Ronny before Discharge

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