Stories: Children, Communities, Futures

A child shares how tuberculosis almost cost him an education

My name is Mamopi. I am seven years old. I live with my mother, father and three older siblings in a settlement in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

I am in Grade 2 and my favourite class is maths.

My family lives in a simple house, and our settlement is very crowded. People often get sick.

When I was in Grade 1, I got sick. At first, my parents did not know what to do. We hoped I would get better, but I kept getting sicker.

I kept losing weight and eventually I could not walk.

Before I got sick, my mother worked every day. After I got sick, she had to stop working to look after me.

She and my father took me to many pharmacies. We would travel from one place to another and try different medicines but nothing made me better.

We tried to go to a traditional healer to find a cure, but that did not work.

I missed school for two months. I was worried I would not be able to go to school again.

This made me very sad because I want to become a mechanic. My father comes from a village in the Eastern Highlands. He tells me that trucks break down when they trying to reach his village. I want to learn how to fix trucks so I can help people.

Mamopi’s mother and father tried to get him treatment but did not know what was making him sick

I thought, if I did not go to school, I could not become a mechanic.

I felt sad and worried because I was not able to play with my friends and I saw my parents trying so hard to find a medicine that would cure me.

I know my mum was very worried. She was very upset when she saw that I was not getting better. She did so much to try to find someone who could cure me.

Then my parents met Heather from ChildFund and she told us what to do.

She told my mother where to go and which scans to get. The doctor told me I had tuberculosis and gave me some medicine to cure it.

After I saw the doctor, Heather made sure I knew what to do to stay healthy so I could stay in school.

She checked me regularly and made sure I was getting better. Now, I am feeling very strong and healthy. I fear, if we did not meet Heather, I would still be sick and I would not be able to go to school.

Now, I’m back in school and playing with my friends.

Your donation can help children like Mampoi get the treatment they need so they can return to school and enjoy their childhood

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