Linah Kekana, a 45-year-old Alexandra woman who is virtually immobile after
contracting elephantiasis in her left leg 12 years ago, will be receiving a
social grant until she can have the surgery needed to remedy her condition.
Kekana, who is
unemployed and has seven children, will be getting her social grant of R1 600 a
month before the end of July thanks to the intervention of her doctors. The
grant will be renewed every year, depending on her health condition.
Better than nothing
Kekana, who also
suffers from high blood pressure and diabetes, goes for regular check-ups at
her local clinic. She currently survives on the support grants she receives for
her children, and her boyfriend occasionally helps out when he gets odd jobs.
worried that my condition will take a long time to improve and they decided to
help me apply for a social grant. This is better than nothing," she said.
The City of
Johannesburg has also promised to provide Kekana with some home-based care.
Health-e published Kekana’s story, along with her pleas for assistance as she
was struggling to get by and feed her children.
builder in Alexandra Linda Twala responded quickly when he heard of Kekana’s
plight. He immediately gave her some food parcels and has committed to continue
helping whenever he has donations.
Elephantiasis in 2005. It is a rare illness that caused her leg to swell to an
abnormal size. She cannot have the expensive and complicated surgery she needs
at a state hospital.
She can no longer
walk or even stand for a long time. She is on chronic medication for high blood
pressure and diabetes and has been told by doctors that they cannot promise her
any long-term prospects with regard to her recovery from the condition.
Elephantiasis is a
parasitic infection caused by the filarial worm, which is transmitted from
human to human via a female mosquito. The parasite, once inside a human host,
grows to become an adult worm that lives in the person’s lymphatic system,
causing extreme swelling in their limbs. – Health-e News.
Insecticide on bed nets prevents elephantiasis
Inflammation from mosquito bites may give viruses a boost