Imagine the pain and other related discomforts of living with a urinary catheter since childhood.
That is the story of a 13-year-old boy who for the past ten years has not been able to go to school and attend other social gatherings due to the stigma of carrying a urine bag.
Kwame (not his real name), since he was born some 13 years ago, has been unable to pass urine the natural way, a deformity health authorities say has affected his general well-being and academic performance.
Due to this, a catheter has been inserted in his lower abdomen which enables him to empty his bladder.
He has been undergoing a procedure to change the catheter every four weeks, a condition his father, Tanyava George, however, says has had a toll on the family’s finances.
“All the money I had on me got finished. I didn’t have anything on me. Even if we have to go and see a doctor, it’s a problem because we don’t have. His condition has really drained us to the extent that his sister couldn’t write her final exams so she’s home currently. It is God who through the doctor got the Hydro Co-operative Credit Union to support us,” he explained.
Dr. Charles Arhinful, Medical Superintendent of the Volta River Authority hospital, where the boy has been receiving treatment explains how he resists attempts to change the catheter every four weeks.
“This young boy was born with a deformity in his urethra which made it impossible for him to pass urine with his penis and so he needed to go through a surgical procedure. But after they finished the first stage, the parents could not support financially and hence the child ended up with the catheter. There is a rubber fixed at the lower abdomen which enables him to pass urine and that’s what has been going on for the past 13 years”.
“For about two to three months now the boy has not allowed anybody to take the catheter out. The catheter ideally shouldn’t be there for more than four weeks, but for several months nobody could convince him to allow for the catheter to be removed. At one point we brought strong men to hold him but we couldn’t contain his strength. Eventually he has had to go under anesthesia to allow us to be able to remove the catheter,” he stated.
His deteriorating health condition attracted the attention of the Hydro Co-operative Credit Union to donate an amount of fifteen thousand, nine hundred and eighty cedis to enable him to undergo surgery to correct the deformity.
Joseph Asare Keteku, the board chairman of the Hydro Co-operative Credit Union tells JoyNews the gesture forms part of the fundamental principles of the Co-operative’s operations.
“One of them is the Corporate Social Responsibility. What we seek to do is to give back to society. Our credit union supports the health agenda of members within the communities within which we operate, and are to be supported when the need be. His condition is a form of displeasure and unacceptable, so the board of directors resolved to go to the aid of the boy in line with our policy,” he said.
With the full amount paid for the surgery, a paediatric surgeon from the Korle-bu Teaching Hospital is expected to begin the process of correcting the deformity in the next few days.
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