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A girl's life forever changed by malaria

By Gladys Kalibbala

Added 10th April 2019 05:03 PM

For Susan Nalukwago, it takes a lot of effort to perform everyday tasks.

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Susan Nalukwago being fed at school. (Credit: Gladys Kalibbala)

For Susan Nalukwago, it takes a lot of effort to perform everyday tasks.

STRUGGLES OF A CHILD

Susan Nalukwago cannot sit without support, she cannot feed herself and neither can she turn in bed on her own.

The 19-year-old's arms do not function as they should, and to compound her struggles, she is blind.

Although Nalukwago has other forms of disabilities too, she is one young human being that harbours an admirable measure of resolve. She is sticking to her dream of becoming a lawyer.

Thanks to the support of various organisations and good Samaritans, she was able to complete primary education and go as far as completing her ‘O’ level education last year.

To sit her exams, an official from national exams body UNEB would read out the questions to her and the answers she would give would be the ones entered on the exam answer booklet.

By its nature, it would have been hard to pull this off with Mathematics, so Nalukwago decided to drop the subject.

Unfortunately, the former student of St. John Bosco SS in Kamuli district has not yet received her O'level results because she failed to clear the third term fees, which amounted to sh300,000.

Her 60-year-old mother Cissy Bulamu used to push her in a wheelchair to school for a distance of one-and-a-half kilometres.

 

In the third term, a lot happened.

She urgently needed a new corset (it helps her sit up-right when tied to a wheelchair) as the old one had produced terrible sores around her breasts due to tightness.

Nalukwago had used it for 12 years -- 10 years more than its recommended lifespan of two years.

She thanks God for the two good Samaritans who came up and bought her a new corset from Katalemwa Cheshire Home. Currently Nalukwago is in need of a new wheelchair. The one she was using broke into two pieces recently and had to be mended. It won't last long.

 

Her condition

Nalukwago's mother explains that her daughter was born normal.

At the age of four, she went down with malaria and spent about a year in Mulago Hospital. While at the health facility, she got frequent convulsions, which resulted in loss of sight, paralysis in both arms and her spinal cord shifted to her side, making it difficult for her to sit.

Nalukwago is thankful that at least she can talk and that he mental faculty is normal.

 

Looking ahead

She may not be able to write, but Nalukwago is certain that she has over ten gospel songs which she can record and get money out of for her upkeep and medicine.

In 2017, a fellow student helped her by getting a good Samaritan who took her for audio recording for a song titled Kankusinze, where the producer charged her sh100,000 for recording.

Nalukwago says if she can be assisted to make videos for some of these songs, it can help her get money to support her and her mother. She estimates a single video to cost her about shs 500,000 to produce.

In the meantime, she has put on hold her dream of becoming a lawyer as she has no means of getting school fees.

(If you would wish to assist Nalukwago in whatever way, contact 0782811445/+256782811445 or send an email to gkalibbala2@gmail.com)

 

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