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Nalugoye needs a new limb

By Vision Reporter

Added 17th May 2009 03:00 AM

SHE swung like a pendulum, thrusting her tender body and reaching for the door. The metallic crutches firmly placed under her chubby dark arms and the sagging blue jean skirt in the place of her left leg gave Lilian Nalugoye away.

SHE swung like a pendulum, thrusting her tender body and reaching for the door. The metallic crutches firmly placed under her chubby dark arms and the sagging blue jean skirt in the place of her left leg gave Lilian Nalugoye away.

By Stephen Senkaaba

SHE swung like a pendulum, thrusting her tender body and reaching for the door. The metallic crutches firmly placed under her chubby dark arms and the sagging blue jean skirt in the place of her left leg gave Lilian Nalugoye away.

She is an 11-year-old primary school girl, born with one leg. She used to get around on crutches until two years ago when Good Samaritans offered money to buy her a prosthesis, an artificial limb.

Two years ago, The New Vision brought Nalugoye’s plight to the public realm by publishing stories about her condition.

The public responded and offered financial and material help.
Individuals and companies generously contributed to her cause and she got better. It is not until last year that her condition started detoriating.

According to her father, Eddie Ntambaazi, the girl has outgrown the artificial limb. “This makes her movement very difficult,” he says.

Doctors have advised that Nalugoye urgently be fitted with a new prosthesis. “She is growing fast and this requires us to fit her stump with a new prosthesis to match her normal legs,” says Dr. Isaac Mutebi Lukanga, a senior orthopaedic technologist at the Physical Rehabilitation International Centre in Kampala.

He says finding fitting a new prosthesis will cost about sh3m. Failure to fit her with a new artificial limb will affect her spine and eventually her movement.

Unfortunately, Nalugoye’s parents cannot afford to pay her medical bills. “That is why we request for assistance from people of good will,” her father says.

Nalugoye’s woes began about six months ago when she abandoned the prosthesis that she had been using for more than a year.

“It was disproportionate to my normal leg, making my movement difficult and sometimes painful,”she says.
“Her friends at school laughed at her and this stigmatised her,” her father says.

Throughout the past school term, Nalugoye has been using crutches. However, doctors have discouraged this saying her continued reliance on crutches will have a long-term health effect on her.

“Because of the immense pressure put on the arms, her hands and fingers could become paralysed,” says Mutebi.

He says the crutches could affect the flow of blood to the body, leading to accumulation of toxic fluids in her stump.

Unlike crutches, a prosthesis enables movement and ease of blood circulation which, will eventually lead to proper cardiac function and other vital body functions.

Mutebi describes Nalugoye’s condition as natural, with an effect called congenital amputation, absence of a limb involving the hip, knee and ankle joints.
Experts say the condition is caused by entrapment of foetal parts.

A child is then born without one or more limbs or without any. Amniotic banding affects approximately one in 1,200 live births. It is believed to be the cause of 178 in 10,000 miscarriages.

Mutebi says apart from affecting her mobility, this condition does not pose any other serious health threats to Nalugoye and does not affect other bodily functions.

He explains that the condition is uncommon. “We get about four or five cases every year,” he says. According to Mutebi, the girl will undergo ordinary treatment which involves continued monitoring and adjustment of the artificial limb, coupled with physiotherapy and counselling. This will go on until she is over 20 years when her bones attain maturity.

“We also need to inform her teachers at school so they can provide an enabling environment for her. This might involve finding an appropriate uniform and a special chair to use in the classroom.”

Nalugoye was born to Eddie Ntambaazi and Sophia Kayaga of Nansana. She is the last born of three and a student at Shiperoy Nursery and Primary School.
She requests compassionate people to come to her rescue.

They can use her father’s Centenary Bank account number: 2520015951 or
Stanbic Bank, 014055789801.

Nalugoye needs a new limb

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