OTJIWARONGO: A three-year-old boy here is suffering from an imperforate anus, a situation that is highly stressful for his mother.
It is a defect that is present from birth (congenital), in which the opening to the anus is missing or blocked. The anus is the opening to the rectum through which stools leave the body.
The 21-year-old Haita Kapango told Nampa in an exclusive interview on Tuesday that she delivered her son, Kemba Herman Nyango, in the Rundu State Hospital in the Kavango Region during February 2009.
Two days after his birth, he was diagnosed with excretion defects. He was then operated on to enable him to discharge human waste through an exposed bowel through his stomach.
The excreted faeces can be seen in a plastic bag tied around the exposed bowel on his stomach.
Nyango can, luckily, urinate on his own.
Since then, Kapango and her child have been in and out of the Katutura State Hospital in the capital, where her son was referred to for higher-level medical treatment.
In February this year, Kapango was told by doctors to wait until her child grows older to undergo another operation.
But a frustrated Kapango now wants to seek private medical treatment for her child.
“I change his plastic bag three times a day, and if he has diarrhoea, it is worse for me because that forces me to give him extreme care day-in day-out to prevent him from sleeping in the faeces,” she said woefully.
Kapango fell pregnant in 2008 while in Grade Seven at the Ncaute Junior Primary School in the Kavango Region.
She now lives with her sister, Josephina Kanyetu, in the DRC informal settlement in Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa Region.
Approached for comment on Tuesday, Acting Principal Medical Officer of the Otjiwarongo State Hospital, Dr Emmanuel Makopa said the cause of excretion defects is not known to doctors.
“The real cause of a congenital malformation in a child with an imperforate anus is hardly known to any medical doctor, because a child could be born with such biological multi-malformations,” he said.
Makopa explained that the child’s natural excretion process can be restored with proper paediatric surgery done by experienced surgeons.
“I know that here in Namibia, we have qualified surgeons at the Katutura State Hospital who can restore excretion complications,” he noted.
Makopa described the previous medical operation on Nyango as temporary, adding that surgeons are still working on him.
He thus suggested that a final medical operation be conducted at a time when Nyango establishes strong muscles from the bowels, connecting the rectum and the anus where faeces are normally discharged from.