Woman suffers ‘untreatable’ tumours – The Namibian

Woman suffers 'untreatable' tumours - The Namibian
Woman suffers 'untreatable' tumours - The Namibian

Africa-PressNamibia. PETRINA Auwanga (45) from Omkoko village at Outapi in the Omusati region, lives with albinism.

On top of this, she has been battling skin cancer for the past 10 years.She has lost the use of her right eye, which is covered with cancerous tumours.Auwanga is unemployed and depends on her monthly disability pension of N$1 300 to make ends meet.She says she is desperate for help after the doctors who have been treating her in Windhoek for the past decade sent her home, saying they cannot remove the growths over her eye due to the sensitivity of her skin in that area.“I don’t know what to do … before, they used to medically burn the tumours away. They kept growing back faster and I was told they cannot remove them any more, because I may incur permanent damage,” Auwanga says. “My eye is open, but because it is covered by these tumours I cannot see from it,” she says.Auwanga has no children and lives with a younger sister, who also lives with albinism.She says she has resorted to buying and applying a type of ointment for relief, which has taken a toll on her finances.“I heard on the radio about the ointment. It helps stop the itching and bleeding, and I have to buy at least five tubes (of N$150 each) every month. If I don’t use the ointment, I itch uncontrollably, and when I scratch myself I bleed profusely. It is just unbearable,” Auwanga says.Outapi-based humanitarian and social activist Miina ‘Wawaz’ Sheehama took it upon herself to seek help on Auwanga’s behalf.“Dear Namibian nation, please help this lady living with albinism . . . She can’t be treated, because her skin cannot continuously deal with chemotherapy. That is what the doctors in Windhoek said. She has, however, been treating herself with Xingliang, a Chinese ointment, and says it helps. This doesn’t mean she is healing. She buys this with her small monthly social grant . . . “We are appealing to good Samaritans to please assist with some medical services before her condition deteriorates. She is usually in pain when exposed to the sun and the wind,” Sheehama says.Sheehama has been working closely with people living with albinsim in the region, and regularly distributes skin lotions, clothes and food among them.“I was drawn to the plight of people living with albinism after an agent from Support In Namibia for Albinism Sufferers (Sinasra) came to my shop and suggested I distribute lotions to their members in the region.“That was when I met Auwanga. I was moved seeing what she was going through, so I took it upon myself to see if I can get help for her. We need to be sensitive to the plight of other human beings in need,” she says.Sinasra’s Joseph Nekundi says he was not aware of Auwanga’s dilemma, but says the organisation will follow up on the situation with her and the health authorities. After that they will look to the nation for help, he says.

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