Many children have to drop out of school because of serious illness. Without help, they may never be able to get the education they need.
I recently treated a seven-year-old boy called Mamopi. Below I relate Mamopi’s story, and how we helped get him back to health, so he could return to school.
Mamopi: A boy too weak to attend school
Mamopi had been sick for a while, but no one had been able to tell his parents what was wrong with him.
He was too weak to go to school, and his parents had to miss a lot of work to care for him, which left them struggling financially.
They spent all their savings on medications, but nothing helped.
Diagnosed with tuberculosis
When I heard about Mamopi, I visited the family and advised them to take him for a scan.
He was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis.
I helped his parents come up with a treatment plan, showed them how to administer the treatment and explained about how best to care for him.
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.
Here I tell you my story, about when I was very sick, so sick that I couldn’t go to school.
What happened when I got sick
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.
My parents didn’t know how to help 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.
I thought, if I did not go to school, I could not become a mechanic.