By David Nduuvundi /
Parenting a child with hydrocephalus is hard. It’s even harder when as a single mother you have no money nor any other material support from the father nor anyone.
This is the sad situation of Martha Mateus.
Hydrocephalus is a condition where a child has fluids building up in his or her brain, causing the head to swell.
Looking at little Rejoice as she plays, and being all jolly, one would never guess that she lives with a life-threatening condition and one for which there is no cure.
Thus, one would never imagine that, under her colourful hat, she has a life-threatening condition that needs constant medical check-up. This situation has now become unbearable for the 37-year-old Martha Mateus from Omaadi village in the Engela Constituency of Ohangwena Region.
Mateus, who is a mother of three, aged 3, 8 and 11, finds it difficult to keep up with this predicament.
As she narrates her story, Mateus bursts into tears, stating “vakwetu, eshi oshidjuu kwaame” – meaning ‘this is really hard for me’.
“When my little girl was diagnosed with the condition at the age of 6 months, the fear of losing her quickly kicked in,” she says pitifully.
She adds that after the child was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, they have been in and out of hospital. Mateus was employed as a caregiver in Otjiwarongo, but due to her child’s condition she was knocked into a different life, a life of depression, and as a result she lost her job.
It was difficult leading a life in Otjiwarongo without a job, as a result Mates was forced by the situation to move back to the north – back to Omaadi village where her family is.
Mateus indicates that the situation continues to worsen as she at time finds it difficult to get funds enough to take the child and herself for follow-up every month at the hospital.
“My family has also neglected me and my children, and we are forced to beg for help in the community,” she adds. The circumstances have resulted in them at times going to bed on empty stomachs.
Mateus notes that she managed to have the child registered for a government social grant, but the funds are too little to sustain them.
Engela Constituency Councillor Mr Elkana Hainghumbi says that he could not really pin-point the woman, as they have many people in the constituency living with disabilities of various kinds and who really need everyday assistance.
He indicates that the issue might have been brought to his attention, but it is difficult to comment as he is not sure of the woman in question.
Whether the Regional Councillor is aware or not aware of the situation of Mateus, it remains a situation that needs the involvement of Good Samaritans to assist a fellow citizen in need of daily necessities to be able to live a normal life.
HELPLESS: Martha Mateus and her little Rejoice.