Renownedlong distance runner Robert Kajuga is on the road to recovery from a career threatening Achilles heel injury despite being allegedly neglected by the concerned stakeholders.
The 29-year-old, who has represented Rwanda at the Olympics and World Championships among other events across the world, ruptured his Achilles tendon at last year’s IAAF World Athletics Championships in Russia.
Insured before the event, Kajuga was immediately rushed to theatre for an operation at a Russian hospital in August and was informed that he would be up and running in six months.
On return to Kigali, the Rwanda Athletics Federation (RAF) referred him to renowned physiotherapist Jacques Buhingiro, who worked on the movement of his tibialis posterior muscle (centre of the leg muscles) and common flexor toe.
In January this year, RAF informed Kajuga that they did not have any more finances to help him recover fully since they had run out of funds.
“I was distraught but luckily enough the vice president of the Rwanda National Olympic and Sports Committee (RNOSC), Elie Manirarora informed me that they would do everything in their means to make sure I got well,” explained Kajuga.
According to Kajuga, he was referred to King Faisal hospital and after four sessions, the health facility demanded for payment for their services and when he referred the matter to the RNOSC, there was no positive response.
All this culminated in Kajuga writing endless letters to the RNOSC with not much being done to help him return to full fitness ahead of this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, an event where Rwanda failed to win a medal.
The Olympian, who was once hailed to be a worthy replacement of the current national record holder, Dieudonné Disi did not give up on his dream of running again.
At the mercy of former Amavubi fitness trainer Jean Pierre Ernzen, Kajuga underwent a daily rehabilitation programme at the Be Fit gym at the Amahoro stadium.
Ernzen then referred Kajuga to Dr Charles Gatsinzi at Kisementi, a suburb in Kigali who has since offered to treat him at no cost.
Ernzen has since closely monitored Kajuga’s progress over the internet in daily chats to track his improvement. “I feel much better now and I am so grateful for the help I am receiving,” noted the former SEC Academy athlete.
As a professional athlete, who depends on running to earn a living, Kajuga has been struggling to meet his basic needs.
Born in Gicumbi, Kajuga decided to live in Kigali where it is easier for him to access medical help that will hopefully see him return to the track sooner than later.
Kajuga is currently able to run 8km at his own pace and believes that by early next year he should be back in action and hopefully participate in next year’s All Africa Games scheduled for November in Congo Brazzaville.
Times Sport made several efforts to get a comment from the athletics federation officials but they did not return our calls and even text messages were not replied by press time.