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Saturday Vision story inspires a children's hospital

By Carol Natukunda

Added 22nd March 2016 10:49 AM

Nakijoba was told that she either had to find sh15m for have the surgery done in Mulago Hospital on a private basis, or she wait for the government sponsorship, which had a long waiting list of patients.

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Baby Hibba carried by her mother Lukiya Nakijoba as she plays with Veronika Cespkowa, Founder and Director Whisper Uganda. Photos/ Racheal Nassuuna.

Nakijoba was told that she either had to find sh15m for have the surgery done in Mulago Hospital on a private basis, or she wait for the government sponsorship, which had a long waiting list of patients.


In September 2015, Lukkiya Nakijoba approached Saturday Vision for help. The 31-year-old mother of four was desperate. Her last born, Veronica Hibba, 3, had been diagnosed with tetralogy fallot, a life threatening heart condition. The doctors said Hibba had a hole in the wall separating the pumping chambers of the heart.

Nakijoba was told that she either had to find sh15m for have the surgery done in Mulago Hospital on a private basis, or she wait for the government sponsorship, which had a long waiting list of patients.

Little Hibba was getting weaker by the day.

 



"I woke up every day in frantic search for help," recalls Nakijoba, a resident of Buikwe district.

"I would move from organisation to organisation but I was always told to wait or come back on different days," Nakijoba recalls.

Nakijoba came to New Vision and her ordeal was published in Saturday Vision of October 3rd 2015.

Thereafter, Whisper Uganda, a local NGO in Jinja that works to improve the lives of vulnerable children in Eastern Uganda, responded to her plea. Veronika Cejpkova, the founder and director of the NGO, says they put up an aggressive fundraising effort online to save Hibba.

"Hibba was getting worse by the day and sometimes getting dangerous attacks," narrates Cejpkova.

Hibba was later admitted at the heart institute department and all the costs for her admission and treatment was covered by Whisper Uganda.

Today, Hibba is back on her feet. The four-year-old is in baby class at St. Patrick Primary School in Buikwe district. She is as playful as she is talkative.

 

But that is not all. Hibba's story inspired Whispers to raise more funds to start a children's hospital in Jinja district. Dubbed Whisper's Magical Children's Hospital, the 20-bed capacity hospital was launched on Saturday.

Cejpkova says the hospital will offer specialised treatment for children with emergencies.

"We realised that there are so many children out there with emergence cases like Hibba who are dying needlessly. We want to reach out to such families. We will charge sh10,000 for the first month. We are working out the future rates," she stated.

 ne of the rooms in hispers agical hildrens ospital One of the rooms in Whisper's Magical Children's Hospital

 



The organisation relies on fundraising, mainly through online campaigns.

"Through the donations we have got, we have already procured beds, medicines and some equipment. We are hoping that the local doctors will support us," says Cejpkova

She adds that because it is Hibba’s success story that inspired the hospital, her mother has already been offered a job as the receptionist at the hospital.

 

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