Having successfully treated trustee Mr Gondwe’s wife and HHZ administrator Carole, both of whom are diabetics, Dr Nkonjele was asked to treat other patients known to HHZ because they had received wheelchair donations. These patients were unable to walk because of sores on their legs and feet as a result of diabetes.
Dr Nkonjele is the only diabetic specialist in Zambia and, as well as travelling to all areas, he has a private clinic in Kitwe, miles from Monze. He cleans wounds, tests sugar levels, informs patients about a non-sugar diet, and treats the sores using antibiotic creams and tablets. He feels he can reverse the amputation diagnosis which many hospitals prescribe for diabetic patients. We travelled with him to watch him treat three patients who live in extreme poverty.
Ethel, 11, developed sores on her feet when she was 3 and cannot walk properly. Since receiving treatment she is able to wear flip flops and Dr Nkonjela recommends that she attends school for the first time.
Grace, 14, has open wounds and uses a wheelchair. We watched Dr Nkonjele cut away the putrid skin and clean, scrape, and apply cream to the affected area. He bandaged her feet and left instructions for her care with the family.
Ellis, 79, is a double amputee and lives on the floor. He has been given a self-propelling wheelchair donated by HHZ. Dr Nkonjela checked that sores were not developing on her feet.
Dr Nkonjela works quietly and carefully with his patients and improvements have been noticed with healing starting to replace the smelly putrid sores.
HHI is committed to providing money to enable these patients to continue receiving their treatment. However, these patients are just a few of the many who need this type of care in Monze and beyond. We hope that somehow we can extend the work that the good doctor does in order to help other needy people.
And, by the way, we were more than happy to give Dr Nkonjela some of the dressings and emollients which, thanks to you, were on the container.