Nyimbiri Village, Malawi … For years polio was a key factor in physical deformaties in Malawi. Today it is malaria that is a major factor adding thousands to the long list of those who cannot walk even a meter without aid. According to Wilson Tembo who sees these problems first hand while distributing wheelchairs and P.E.T. mobility units for the Malawi Project, “Many of these people have their future landing in unreliable destinations because they cannot move, they cannot walk or work.”
Such is the case with Madalitso Chikwa, a 13 year old from Nyimbiri Village (traditional authority Mcherna). As with far too many cases it has been concluded young Madalitso has suffered from polio. While malaria has seemed to replace polio as more often being the cause of mobility issues if you are among the few that are still ravished by the disease the reduced numbers make little difference.
“To look at young Madalitso (name means Blessings) one would think his legs are normal,” Tembo observes. “You would think he could walk the distance. But no, not at all! His inability to walk his educational journey had meant he is stuck at Grade 2. He started school late, and then there was no one to carry him. He just kept falling farther and farther behind. As he advanced in age his desire for education was frustrated.”
Tembo continues, “That desire is so strong it has caused him to actually craw in the dust, rocks and mud just to attend classes at Chiperera Primary School.”
“Receiving the new mobility unit Madalitso is all smiles. You can see the excitement when you watch a group of his fellow students following along down a dusty road. He moves himself under his own power, and now he tells me, ‘This will help me go to school, to church, and to watch football games.’ You could see his anticipation spread all across his face as he considered what all of this meant to his future,” Tembo concludes.
These mobility units are being made available through a working relationship between Mobililty Worldwide, Demotte, Indiana and the Malawi Project.