Young girls with disabilities
Photo Credit: Damalie Hirwa

MAF flies Rwandan specialist to northern Uganda to support young people with disabilities.

When Mission Aviation Fellowship flew Rwandan orthopaedic Doctor Bosco Mpatswenumugabo to Pader district in northern Uganda, the short visit brought life-changing care to three young women with disabilities.

In one day, a MAF flight enabled Dr Bosco to see three patients with disabilities, and then travel back to Entebbe International Airport so he could fly home to Rwanda to attend to his other duties.

“The MAF flight has enabled me to make a round trip to Pader in one day. This would not be possible if I had travelled by road,” Dr Bosco said.

“You have performed beyond my expectation. The hospitality and safety you have exhibited is not quite obvious with internal flights within our African countries.”

People with disabilities are arguably some of the most vulnerable in our society, and when it is children, the difficulty they face is even greater.

Dr. Bosco measures girl's stump for prosthetic limb
Photo Credit: Damalie Hirwa
Dr. Bosco measures Vicky for fitting a prosthetic limb.

Vicky Aciro, 19, lost her left limb to a cancer growth last year, from what started as a swelling. Doctors established that without an amputation, Vicky’s entire body was at risk of cancer spread. As a school-going student, this amputation saved her life but makes it quite difficult for her to access classes, in a place where nearly all children walk kilometres to attend lessons every day.

Mercy Lakica, 18, was born with hydrocephalus and spina bifida. While the upper part of her body functions quite well, Mercy does not feel her body from her waist down. This condition has led to severe injuries, including a dog bite she never felt during her sleep. Mercy also suffers incontinence due to the insensitivity in her lower limbs.

Photo Credit: Damalie Hirwa
Mercy needs a wheel chair made for her specific needs

Monica, 15, the youngest of the three girls has had cerebral palsy from birth.

MAF partners Te-Kworo Foundation flew Dr Bosco from the Rwandan capital Kigali to assess the children for possible treatment in Kigali’s Inkurunziza Orthopaedic Specialised Hospital. MAF flew Dr Bosco from Kajjansi Airfield in Kampala.

From his assessment, Dr Bosco recommended that Vicky is flown to Rwanda where she can receive a prosthetic limb for the one she lost.

He recommended a tricycle-wheelchair tailor-made with a potty for Mercy to give her mobility and protect her from requiring diapers that could lead to infections, and also to pad the legs to protect her from injury, in addition to a corset on the back to prevent further growth of the spinal deformity.

Monica will be receiving intense physiotherapy to the right upper limb, and also a supportive device that will keep her upper limb in the correct position.

These remedies will turn the lives of these young women around. Unlike Vicky who lives with her parents, Mercy and Monica do not know where their parents are.

Te-Kworo Foundation has for over 20 years taken care of children who lost their parents during the Lord’s Resistance Army rebel insurgency in northern Uganda. The organisation looks after over 300 children from that era at their centre including Mercy and Monica.