The brothers Thamson and Andrea are the youngest of their 7 siblings and grew up with their family in a very remote area. Lugala Hospital visited the family regularly after the birth of the children (Andrea in September 2017 and Thamson in October 2019) for follow-ups and to support the family with their basic needs. For example, they were provided with water filters to protect the children from intestinal infections.

They lived in extreme poverty, in a dilapidated mud hut with a thatched roof that didn’t protect them from the rain. During the last rainy season, this collapsed and the family was left without shelter.

The brothers’ biological father ran a very small farm on which he also harvested very little – during the last harvest it was just a single bag of maize. The father of the other (5) siblings left the mother and refused to accepted any responsibility for the children. An older sister of the mother also lived in the hut, but she was unwell due to a heavy dependency on alcohol.

Around the end of February 2021, the father informed the hospital about some abdominal pain being experienced by the mother, sadly she died suddenly that same evening. The father then had to take care of the children himself, but found it very difficult in this catastrophic situation. Without their mother, they needed the support of neighbours and older children from the neighbourhood.

In addition, Thamson suffered from pneumonia after his mother’s passing, causing him to lose a lot of weight, thankfully he was able to receive some treatment at the local pharmacy. However, although he is slightly regressed for his age, no special care is needed. According to the hospital, with a balanced diet and regular check-ups, his future looks very bright.

In June 2021, the two children were brought to the Mafiri Village by Dr Hellmold (from Lugala Hospital) and were warmly welcomed by the other children.

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Hanno Breitfuss: hanno.breitfuss@iplace.at

Udo Neyer: udo@crimpers.at