The empathizing story of accidents, surgeries, and poverty, have characterized the life of Meka Ngora Melchicedek Christ Le Roi, a boy born on July 4, 2015 at ESABAH following a normal birth procedure. At four months, Meka was victim of a fire accident in which he sustained third degree burns on his right leaving him with damaged tools.
As if Meka’s predicament from the fire incident wasn’t enough, 18months, this unformatted child, got involved yet in another fatal accident when he felt from a speeding bike on the highway on January 25, 2017 in Yaounde. This incident resulted in a traumatic amputation of both his upper left and right arms. At the Yaounde Centre Hospital, Meka underwent a disjoint operation of his upper right limp at the level of his shoulder and a regularization of the 2/3 amputation of his left arm. It was then that Meka was declared to be a 90% permanently disabled child.
The story of accepting his status and the challenges of living with his disability over these years leaves much to smile at. Meka explains how he coups with his situation and the assistance his parents and neighbors give him. “I am loved by my parents who help me all the time and my neighbors who always assist me. It is thanks to this love that I encountered a man through whom I have had much help” explained the visibly grateful child.
Meka was identified by Esidie Maclane Esong, a member of the Parent Support Group, and field worker with the CBC Health Services’ Empowerment and Disability Inclusive Development (EDID) Programme working with Children With Disabilities (CWDs). The field worker invited him to the Etuge-Egbe Baptist Hospital on World Disability Day Feast in 2017, where many activities were being carried out by children with disabilities. During this event, Meka had some relief to find many children with similar conditions like his, play and have fun. This was a ray of hope and comfort to little Meka.
Esidie Maclane Esong, explains that keen interest was given to Meka and follow-ups made to ensure that the child gets help. “When the occasion was over, we took Meka’s address and visited him as planned. We realized while accessing Meka that his most pressing need was a surgery. He was then referred to the central hospital to meet an autopedic surgeon.
“His mother called us on phone and said that they had asked her to bring the sum of five hundred thousand francs (500.000 FCFA) for the surgery. We then replied by giving her a date that an autopaedic doctor was coming to visit Etug-Ebe Baptist Hospital.” Explained the field worker.
Esidie goes on to explains how she accompanied Meka and his mother to meet with the doctor after which an appointment was booked for October 14, which unfortunately, did not hold due to financial difficulties on the part of Meka’s family.
Efforts to meeting the doctor were sustained through phone calls given that the doctor usually came on visits. One of such appointment was scheduled for November 8, 2018. The field worker explains that “When the day came, Meka was taken to the Baptist Hospital Mutengene (BHM) where a burnt contracture surgery was carried out on him at the cost of two hundred thousand francs (200.000 FCFA). His parents were able to afford their transport to and from Mutengene, feeding and also part of their son’s surgery bills which amounted to a total of 75000FCFA.”
As it never rains but pours, two weeks after his surgery, on November 26, 2018, Meka became very ill again with a temperature of 39C and was rushed to Etug-Ebe Baptist Hospital Yaounde (EBHY). Esidie explains that this time around, treatment was offered, the cast removed and dressing done. “Meka’s mother did not have anything to pay for his treatment and we had to pay all the bills, which cost twenty three thousands nine hundred francs (23900),” she added.
Meka’s Mother is so happy that his son’s surgery was a success and that he is able to do many things. “My son’s surgery was a success and we pleaded for the dressing of his wounds to be done at Ekundoum Baptist Health Centre given that it is closer to our home. Meka speaks fluently, hears clearly, sees well and moves around with his lower limb.” Express Meka’s Mother.
Notwithstanding, Meka still needs help for prostheses of his upper limb in order to be autonomous in his active life. Meka Ngora has a birth certificate but has not yet obtained his National Invalidity Card, a document he badly needs.