Leprosy victim living in destitution – The Namibian

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Leprosy victim living in destitution - The Namibian
Leprosy victim living in destitution - The Namibian

Africa-PressNamibia. Isolated in the village of Manwangobe in the Rundu Rural constituency, leprosy victim Lucina Likuwa (67) is living in deep poverty.

The disease she has lived with since childhood has rendered her extremely vulnerable because she doesn’t have the use of her hands and therefore cannot work the fields like other villagers in the area.Likuwa relies on her son, who does odd jobs around the village, to provide for her.She does not benefit from pension or disability grants because she does not have national documents.Likuwa came to the attention of Rundu Rural constituency regional councillor Paulus Mbangu this week as his office prepared a list of vulnerable people in the area for possible assistance.“I was informed about Likuwa’s situation as we embarked into consultations with church leaders in the area to try and get to the most vulnerable members of our society and I must say I found Likuwa to be a very sensitive case and she could only have survived through the mercy of God,” Mbangu said.“She doesn’t have proper shelter, she sleeps in a small hut on the floor covered with a thin blanket. Her son who takes care of her is unemployed and survives by doing small jobs to help feed his mother.”Mbangu said his office would assist Likuwa to apply for the much-needed national documents.He has further called on people who are able to assist to come forward so that they can help put up a proper accommodation structure for Likuwa.According to the World Health Organisation leprosy is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae. The disease mainly affects the skin, peripheral nerves, mucosa of the upper respiratory tract and the eyes. If untreated it can cause permanent damage to skin, nerves, limbs and eyes, and lead to the loss of body parts like fingers and toes.

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