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Student, 16, needs support to undergo overseas rheumatic heart treatment

Aug 26, 2021, 12:48 PM

The family of a 16-year-old student, who has battled rheumatic heart disease for more than a year, is appealing for support from government, private sector and individuals for their daughter to undergo overseas treatment.

Resident of Mandinaba in the Kombo East, Ya Fatou Kujabie was afflicted with a 2-month history of cough, non-productive, non-fast breathing and no chest pain, according to a medical report that was obtained from Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul.

The report also indicates that the girl experiences dyspnea or exertion relieved upon resting weight loss despite eating regularly with occasional abdominal distention with swelling of the feet.

A chest x-ray that was conducted on her shows cardiomegaly and echo, which confirmed she has rheumatic heart disease with severe mitral stenosis and incompetence; severe tricuspid regurgitation elevated pulmonary artery systolic pressure; grossly dilated left chambers with borderline LV systolic function and elevated pulmonary artery systolic pressure.

“Ya Fatou has been suffering from this disease for long time and it has now forced her out of school. We have spent all the little money we have to support her to regain her health but the sickness is swelling her body every day in pain.” says Ebou Kujabie, father of the young girl.

The medical report recommends that Ya Fatou undergo an overseas surgical intervention which is not available in The Gambia. She has had several admissions due to heart failure.

According to Mr Kujabie, her daughter is a level-headed student who loves education but due to the severity of the pain she goes through, she has to stay out of school.

“We are appealing to the government, private institutions and individuals to come to our daughter’s support for her to acquire overseas treatment and save her life,” he said.

Ya Fatou’s mother, Binta Sanyang, who cannot stand the daily pain her daughter is going through, said they will be grateful if they can get intervention for the young girl to be treated and regain her health.

The young girl, she added, is currently under medication which is also helping to reduce pain.

“The cost of this medicine is costly. We do not have the financial muscle to even cater for the needed medicine, talk less of footing the bill for an overseas treatment.

Anyone willing to support Ya Fatou’s overseas medical treatment or to offer any other form of support can contact her father on 2925238 or 3656483. You can also contact the coordinator of The Rural Child Organisation that Ya Fatou is a member on 3660150/ 7786848 or email at theruralchild@gmail.com