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Fredrick Kalama from Trans Nzoia County has been suffering from chronic wounds on both legs for the last 13 yrs. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Western
Medics say Kalama has osteomyelitis, a bone ailment that can occur if a bacterial or fungal infection enters the bone tissue.

Fredrick Kalama (pictured) tries his best to hide the misery and pain caused by exposed wounds eating into his flesh.

His swollen legs are normally carefully wrapped with white bandages whose colour has changed to yellow due to a regular discharge.

Mr Kalama says he developed the condition 12 years ago after a rope left a minor cut on his left leg while he was herding cattle at his Minyali village home in Tongareni Constituency.

“The cow pulled the rope that caused a bruise on my leg. When I burst a blister that had formed on the affected leg, it started swelling and a wound developed.”

A small cut on his right leg also caused it to swell. “I felt a sharp pain that was followed by a tiny tear on my right leg on November 2008.”

The 53-year-old says he has been in and out of different hospitals seeking treatment, but there has been little if any improvement.

On the day of this visit, Kalama was seated outside his iron-roofed house, waiting for his wife Catherine to serve him a cup of tea.

“She helps me to dress and get out for some fresh air before taking me back into the house,” said the father of one.

When his wife is not around, he says, he uses a plastic chair for supporting himself as he moves around his compound. Kalama says he is mostly alone, having been deserted by friends and relatives.

Catherine is also expected to remove the soiled bandages, clean the wounds and dress them afresh every day.

Kalama says life has become unbearable since the disease set in, rendering him helpless and unable to work.

“I sold my cows to cater for my hospital bills and now my wife has to do all kinds of menial jobs in the neighbourhood to put food on the table,” he said.

Kalama was first treated at the nearby Minyali dispensary but was referred to Ndalu Health Centre when the swelling persisted.

“I have received countless injections and swallowed all kinds of medicines since 2008. I have been admitted and discharged from different hospitals without recording any improvement.”

He was admitted and treated for one month at the Kitale District Hospital.

Diagnose condition

“Doctors were determined to diagnose my condition, but after conducting tests, nothing was discovered. Medicine was prescribed and I was discharged and advised to be visiting a health centre for close observation.”

His health started deteriorating in August last year and he was admitted to Kiminini Cottage Mission Hospital for one week.

“The swelling had increased and both legs had turned dark as if there was no blood flow, save for the yellowish discharge. I could not sit or walk and my wife was always by my bedside.”

X-rays were performed to determine whether the wounds had affected the bones. A medical report showed that Kalama was suffering from osteomyelitis, a bone ailment that can occur if a bacterial or fungal infection enters the bone tissue due to injury. Kalama was referred to the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, but he does not have money to pay for the specialised treatment.

“I don’t know what to do next, but I have faith that God will not let me die. We hope that a Good Samaritan will come to my rescue.”

His wife said: “I would like to see him back on his feet. He has suffered much for far too long.”


Fredrick Kalama Wounds Swollen Swollen legs

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