A Sickle Cell Survival Story

  |   Posted: March 16, 2011

Edith Namukobe is 31 years old and has struggled with sickle cell anemia all of her life. She has lost five children in seven years to the disease, but one survived — Suzan.

Edith’s husband left because “he had no blessing,” with almost all of her children dying. Now alone, Edith looked to others in the community for support, but most of them looked down on her because she was getting older and had only one child.

Alone, ill and caring for a severely sick infant, Edith was brought into the care of the Kirongero Child Survival Program. There she found love, acceptance and people who truly care about her and Suzan.

“When my child is sick, I am able to take her to the program located at the Kirongero Church and they refer her to a health center for treatment,” says Edith with a tear in her eye. “They take the trouble to look after her. They put her on special nutrition for six months and taught me how to feed her with nutritious foods.”

Because of the Child Survival Program, Edith has gone from despair to optimism. “This program has given me peace in my heart,” says Edith. “They have helped my baby and me to survive, and we now have a future! I just know one day that Suzan will grow up to be a member of parliament and advocate for those with sickle sell anemia — people like us.”