SIX-YEAR-OLD Rahaman Ajana is currently battling a congenital heart deformity described described as symptomatic congenital heart disease. A pupil of Success Crown Nursery/Primary School, Oworonshoki, Lagos, Rahama has been in and out of hospital so many times, she misses school.
The girl has a lifetime history of illness and falls sick so often, she has to see a pediatrician ever so often.
Following series of general check ups, she was referred to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH.
The third child of the Ajanahs, Rahama, who was born premature, did not begin to walk until she was one year old. Even then, she would walk just a little distance, wait to rest or just fall down or lean on something for support.
A medical report from LUTH, revealed that Rahama’s condition was confirmed through echocardiography to be ventricular septal defect with pulmonary hypertension. The report, signed by Professor C.A.N. Okoromah advised that Rahama requires further cardiovascular evaluation and possible open heart surgery to correct the abnormality inorder to forestall irreversible and life threatening complications.
The open-heart surgical procedure is unavailable at LUTH, and Rahama has been refrred to Miot Hospital, Chennai, India.
But the snag is the overall cost. Rahama’s parents are poor and unable to raise the N2.5 million required for transportation, the surgery, intensive care, hospital stay, medication and post-operative investigation. Narrating her ordeal, Rahama’s mother, Kadijat Ajanah, of No. 38 Olorunfumi Street, Oworonshoki, Lagos, said the whole problem began while she was pregnant.
“Rahama was born underweight – 2.2kg to be precise. Initially, she was okay, but after a while we noticed she was not growing normally. We have to do an ECG at LUTH every six months while trying to raise money for the surgery. The doctors say we should raise the money as quickly as possible while she is still a child so that the heart will not harden. We have been managing the situation and sometimes it is so bad. It of has been affecting her education.”
Kadijat said the issue has been affecting the family financially and economically, due to the six months interval check ups. She was diagnosed of the disease when she was two years old, that is four years ago. Now it has become so bad that we can hardly manage her. Nigerians should please to come to our aid as we have exhausted all our finances.