Reach out and Touch – The plight of the Frank family

There are some things that we take for granted in life like having the ability to normally defaecate, but if one hears the story of Angati Frank, a 10 years old girl from Dula village, Traditional Authority Kachenga, Balaka district will praise the Almighty God for having that ability.

Angati is a first born daughter of Mr and Mrs Frank who was born with an imperforate anus an abnormality of the anus and the rectum, in other words, born without a rectal opening.  Angati’s birth was conducted by a Traditional Birth Attendant who did not realize the abnormality until a month later when the mother noticed it. Research shows that it is an abnormality that occurs 1 in every 5,000 births.

From left to right: Angati, Sauda, Bakali Mrs Frank and Sakina in the mother’s arms

At 10 years Angati can not attend primary school which is about 7kms away from their house,  “I am shy to go to school because i do not know when i want to defecate, i just see stool coming from my kumasoku (the vagina), so i am afraid my friends will be mocking me” said the smiling Angati who attends a nearby nursery school operated by the Malawi United Methodist Church.

When the grandmother of Angati realized that her granddaughter had an abnormality 10 years ago, she tried her best to take her to a near health center where they were referred to Zomba Central Hospital for an operation. But the parents could not afford transport to take Angati to the central hospital, so they decided to come back home and let Angati grow like that.

Angati, with Sakina, her sister in her arms

Then, comes Bakali Frank, 5 years old, born blind. He also attends the nursery school since there is no school in the area that takes take of children with special needs.

Bakali Frank with his walking stick

 

Bakali at the nursery school

Bakali, seated away from the rest of the children. Little did he know that he was not seated in a line as the other children did.

Sauda – in a dropped dress, Bakali and their mother

Sauda Frank, 3 years old was born dumb. She also attends the same nursery school.

Angati, Sauda, Bakali nad their mother

Angati, Sauda and Bakali, on top of their individual challenges, they all have severe ring worms which is a fungal scalp infection which may be caused by poor hygiene.

Angati, warmly invited us to her home, she said “now that you have only seen me and my siblings, do you mind if you could come home to see my father?”

Angati leading us home

Mercy with the Frank family while the Nursery school male teacher looked on

Mrs Frank, Mercy, Mr Frank, a sister to Mrs Frank – Jane, Sauda and Angati sitting on the veranda of the Frank’s hut

Mercy and Mr Frank

 

Then, it was time to make wishes:-

“I wish i could have a normal feeling as everybody have when they want to defaecate. I want to be able to see myself being normal, so that i can go to school as my friends do. I want to be a nurse like you” said the soft spoken Angati

“I want to be able to see when our  teacher is showing us alphabet” said Bakali

Alphabet, Bakali’s wish to be able to see one day

Sauda, just smiled since she is dumb.

“I want to see Angati normal in my life time, it pains me to see her like that, what will happen to her when she grows up? If there are people out there, may they help my children” pleaded Mr Frank

“If my children could go to school like other children, why me?” wondered Mrs Frank

Giving us a wonderful send off – children of Dula village

 

By Mercy Chikhosi Nyirongo

 

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About wandikweza

We are a team of nurses, midwives and a public health practitioners working in limited resource settings
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2 Responses to Reach out and Touch – The plight of the Frank family

  1. Daniel mhone says:

    There are things we have taken for granted for long. It is my humble prayer God who sees what we go through will be with the Frank family.

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