19 September 2019
Breaking News

Elderly couple with paralysed son sounds SOS

Written by  Andrew Mkonda
The house of the Mwakitilamas, Pic by Andrew Mkonda-MANA The house of the Mwakitilamas, Pic by Andrew Mkonda-MANA

Karonga, May 20, 2019: He had a vision to become a soldier and serve the nation one day.

But that dream may never be realised following an illness he suffered at the age of four.

Moffat Mwakitalima was born on 2nd April, 1988 in the family of Mr. and Mrs. Mwakitalima of Group Village Head Mweneyumba in the area of Paramount Chief Kyungu in Karonga District.

The parents say Moffat was born like any other normal person and as expected he brought joy into the family.

But at the age of four, Moffat suddenly started convulsions which brought shock to the parents and other relatives.

“There was no any sign that my son was having any illness. We just realised that he had started convulsions and we immediately rushed him to the hospital but nothing changed.

“We then decided to take him to traditional doctors in Tanzania but to no avail,” says Wayiness Nanthakomwa, her mother.

“When we came back from Tanzania, we went to a certain prophet who promised us to see our child being healed through prayers after paying K30, 000. But nothing happened,” she says.

Nanthakomwa says her son was very bright in class and wanted to be a Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldier one day.

But he stopped going to school while in Standard Five because some part of his body became paralysed.

“It came as a shock to us. As you can see, my son can no longer stand, walk or speak. We talk to him through gestures. 

“He can hear us but cannot talk to us. We don’t really know the cause of this,” she says.

Nanthakomwa further says Moffat’s condition has affected the family’s socio-economic activities.

“We can hardly leave home for some activities elsewhere because we cannot live him alone.

“It’s our duty to move him from one place to another even when he wants to answer the call of nature. We are really at pains,” she says while shedding some tears.

Nanthakomwa, 69, and her husband, 71, make mats for a living and earn K1000 per day from sales of the same. They live in a dilapidated grass-thatched house. 
 
She pleads to well-wishers to assist the family with a wheelchair to ease mobility of the 33-year-old paralysed son.

“Imagine at our age we have to pick him from one place to another on daily basis. It’s not easy,” Nanthakomwa says.

“We even fail to go to church because we cannot leave him alone here. We shall be happy if well-wishers assist us with a wheelchair to ease his mobility challenges,” she adds.

Karonga District Medical Officer Dr. Lindani Chirwa says once some parts of the body have started malfunctioning, the only remedy is to go for physiotherapy or provide the patient with a wheelchair.

“Paralysis is very dangerous because for a person to start paralysis it means the spinal cord (a set of nerves inside the spine that connect the brain to the nerves in the body) has been affected.

“It’s very difficult for one to be healed completely,” Dr Chirwa says.

He adds that many people get paralysed due to road accidents and other diseases such as sickle cell anaemia especially when the spinal cord has been affected.

National Registration Bureau Officer (NRB) Style Zgambo is the one who alerted this reporter about the Mwakitalima family’s predicament.

“This family came late for national ID registration and after interrogating them, it is when they told me about their son’s condition,” he said.

Feeling concerned, Zgambo later decided to visit the family.

“I am very concerned about the situation of the family. The boy cannot do anything on his own. Food is also a big challenge for this elderly couple.

“This is why I thought of inviting the media to alert well-wishers to assist the family,” he said.

Features

PRESS RELEASE: NO PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR DEMONSTRATIONS

PRESS RELEASE: NO PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR DEMONSTRATIONS

Government would like to inform the public that it has decided not to grant permission for demonstrations planned by the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) to go ahead from Wednesday, 28th August 2019. As such, Government would like to warn all citizens to ignore any notice of demonstrations a...