NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 18 – Kenyans On Twitter (KOT) on Monday joined residents of Wajir County in appealing to the government to investigate a rare skin condition affecting children in Buna area.
Speaking after receiving 10 year old Abshir who is suffering from acute dry skin – a disease associated to ichthyosis, the residents said 10 other children in the area were suffering from the same disease.
“Baby Abshir represents the face and the plight of children living with this condition. But I can confirm to you as of yesterday and up to this morning, nine other cases of children with the same condition were brought to Wajir District Hospital,” Mohamud Abbas, one of the Kenyans On Twitter who offered to help raise funds to airlift the boy to Nairobi for treatment explained.
“The situation warrants checking whether there is anything, whether environmental… whether it’s genetically or nutritionally motivated.”
According to residents of Wajir, the disease was new and nobody understood how children got it, how they can prevent it or how it can be treated.
According to them, the government should move in to create awareness about the disease and advise the affected communities how they can prevent it or treat those already affected.
Baby Abshir was lucky to have caught the attention of KOT who immediately set up #SaveBabyAbshir and #SaveWajirKids to fundraise for his flight and his treatment at the Kenyatta National Hospital.
The Sonko Rescue Team usually supported by Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko was among donors who moved in to support Baby Abshir’s treatment in Nairobi.
The campaign which was trending on Twitter for the part of Monday as well told the sad reality of the torturous lives of the sick children and the trauma they live in mostly hidden due to discrimination even by their very own families.
Baby Abshir’s head has dead skin that had formed into lumps. The boy also has a deformity on his legs and hands.
Mohammed Ahmed one of the volunteers and a member of the community in Eastleigh urged parents with children with similar symptoms to take them to hospital.
“Parents should come out. They should not hide their kids.”
According to the residents, the Government of Wajir County has opened a specific ward at the Wajir District Hospital specifically for children with a condition similar to that of Abshir.
The doctor treating Abshir, said he would determine if he was suffering from ichthyosis or other diseases as well.