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A wheelchair For Kodiva Dausab

Published on: 29 March 2010

On Tuesday last week, the dreams of young Kodiva Dausab came true when Mr. Ken Howes, Trustee of the Ohorongo Otavi Community Trust (OOCT), presented him with a wheelchair. Since Kodiva has contracted an infection in his joints, he is unable to walk and cannot attend school.

Kodiva’s one knee is infected with tuberculosis arthritis, a form of tuberculosis which attacks the joints. Although the doctors are positive that he will be walking again, it is impossible to say how long the recovery will take. A complete recovery can unfortunately not be expected and the teenager will always limp.

In a moving scene during the inauguration of the newly renovated Otavi Health Clinic, the wheelchair was donated to Kodiva by the OOCT. The governor of the Otjozondjupa region, Bartholomeus Shangeta, as well as Otavi Town Council chairlady, Ndapewoshali Nambili, attended the event. Also present at the ceremony were Ohorongo Managing Director Hans- Wilhelm Schütte and Professor Dr. Heinz Maier from SUPPORT e.V, the NGO that funded the clinic renovation.

A concerned teacher of Kodiva made the Ohorongo Otavi Community Trust aware of the need for a wheelchair. When Norma Gaoas, teacher at the Khorab Secondary School, realized that her pupil could not attend school due to his illness, she approached the OOCT for a wheelchair. “He is in grade 10 and if he doesn’t attend school, he might fail although I am positive that he will pass if he attends”, Gaoas was quoted as saying. Gaoas was very concerned that her student would even drop out of school permanently due to his sickness, thus forfeiting a bright future, she stated. The donation of the wheelchair changes all this and Kodiva will again be
able to go to school on a regular basis.

Tuberculosis arthritis is an infection of the joints by the tuberculosis bacteria. Although rarely fatal, if untreated this form of tuberculosis is highly destructive to affected joints and by severely damaging the articular cartilage usually leaves the tissue permanently damaged. The symptoms of tuberculosis arthritis are similar to those associated with pulmonary tuberculosis, except that patients also experience strong pain in the affected joint, decreased movement and muscle spasms.

Tuberculosis arthritis is treatable using the same medication as would be used treating ordinary pulmonary tuberculosis, but in order to limit the permanent damage to the infected joint, as well as to prevent the spread of the bacteria to other joints, it is important that the disease is treated promptly. Orthopaedic devices such as wheelchairs can help put the affected joint at rest, which is essential in reducing the strain on the joint.

Categories: Ohorongo Otavi Community Trust

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