Outrage as student with rare disease sent home

A student of Ng’iya Girls High in Siaya County was sent home over suffering from a disease that is difficult to manage. FILE PHOTO

What you need to know:

  • The school administration said Lydia Odero’s illness is so serious that it cannot be handled by the school nurse.
  • The principal maintained that the student suffers from sickle cell anaemia and needs close attention and care.

A family in Kisumu County is crying foul after their daughter was sent home from Ng’iya Girls High in Siaya due to an illness.

The school administration said Lydia Odero’s illness is so serious that it cannot be handled by the school nurse, and that the pupil needs “motherly attention”.

It recommends that the 16-year-old Form Two student transfers to a day school.

But Lydia’s mother, Ms Jane Odero, maintains that the disease can be managed at school, and accuses principal Florence Okut of treating her daughter unfairly.

Lydia suffers from Cord Ischemia, a rare condition that causes pain in body joints.

MALARIA
The distraught mother narrates how the school administration called her on Tuesday informing her of the decision to expel her daughter.

“When I called the matron, who was accompanying my daughter home, she told me Lydia was okay. I remember that day there were political demonstrations in Ahero so I told them it was not safe to travel,” she narrated.

“I realised something was amiss given the way she kept calling me and insisting that the student must come home despite the uncertainty on the roads. To our surprise, the girl was dropped home with all her belongings,” she added.

According to Lydia, the school principal ordered her belongings to be packed without her knowledge.

“The decision to send me away came when I was recuperating after suffering from a malaria attack. I had even consulted the school nurse who assured me that I was getting better,” she said.

“I have a medical condition called Cord Ischemia. At times I have pain in the joints. During such times, I go to the sick bay and take a rest,” she added.

POORLY EQUIPPED
However, the principal maintained that the student suffers from sickle cell anaemia and needs close attention and care.

“It will be good for the girl to be near the mother. Her illness is the type that needs very close care and attention,” she told Nation.

“When the attack comes, it lasts four to five days. Our worry is, who is going to be with her all these days and nights?” She posed.

She further argued that the school has a single nurse who has to attend to over 1,000 students, making it impossible for her to fully attend to Lydia.

A medical report by Dr Peter Owour, a consultant physician at Aga Khan Hospital in Kisumu, says Lydia suffers from Ischemia, which mainly affects the joints and causes occasional fever.

“She is a sickle-cell carrier that is compatible with normal health. She should therefore be allowed to continue with her education normally,” Dr Owour advised.

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