Eleven-year old Jean Claude Ngirinshuti, son of a father working for a monthly salary of Frw30,000 or US $55 and a jobless mother, is in urgent need of critical medical attention.
The boy can no longer eat normally, and is said to be extremely weak. He dropped out of school as a result of an illness, but even worse is that he is at the risk of losing his life in a few years’ time.
Ngirinshuti was born at Kigali’s King Faisal Hospital in 1997 where doctors then diagnosed him as a Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD).
This in simple terms means he has a hole in the wall of one of his heart chambers, rendering the all-important body organ critically defective.
This is a rectifiable, actually not-so-complicated medical problem according to medical practitioners, but which is not-so-affordable either.
At Nairobi Hospital in Kenya, the operation costs Frw15m (US$28,000), and this caters for only surgical equipment and drugs.
The other items such as professional fees, accommodation, meals, air tickets for patient and attendant, etc, are not included in the above amount.
However, the cost of giving Ngirinshuti hope of life by surgical means may after all not be out of reach, even for the ordinary people.
This is because King Faisal Hospital itself, in conjunction with two separate teams of American and Australian surgeons, conducts voluntary open heart surgery sessions twice a year.
The only fees involved are related to pre-surgery exercises such as consultation, laboratory tests and examinations. Americans were here in April, while the Australians are due in October.
King Faisal being a high end medical facility, even figures for mere consultation and laboratory fees can prove to be high for a family of seven with a single bread earner bringing home a paltry figure.
Which is why the public needs to come in and lend a helping hand to Ngirinshuti, buoyed by the possibility that this seemingly hopeless heart case can be turned around in our own backyard at Faisal, at a minimum fee.
But the public is also hereby called upon to be ready to step in generously in the event that the operation cannot be conducted here.