A couple hailing from Nebbi District in Northern Uganda is walking the streets of Jinja City, about 430 kilometers apart, in search of Shs4 million to free the wife from an 18-year-old tumor called Ameloblastoma.
Ameloblastoma is a rare tumor that develops most often in the jaw near the molars. It begins in the cells that form the protective enamel lining on one’s teeth.
The condition has since forced Ms. Jennifer Acen, 35, and her husband, Mr Joseph Ongei, 43, a resident of Akuru Village, Akworo Sub-county in Nebbi District, to move with prescription documents and microphone, asking Good Samaritans to contribute towards the hefty Hospital bill.
Ms Acen says she has stayed with the tumor for 18 years due to lack of money to stop it from spreading.
“I first went to Arua Hospital but was referred to Mulago (Hospital) in 2020. After the scan, I was asked for Shs4 million for surgery which I have failed to raise,” she said in an interview on Thursday.
She added: “Because we are financially incapacitated (both lack permanent jobs), we decided to move from Nebbi to Jinja City in search of money.”
Ms Acen says doctors gave her some treatment which she followed to the letter but has since registered no improvement. The mother-of-seven adds that despite moving daily from street to street in Jinja City, they have failed to raise the money.
According to Ms Acen, the tumor started on the chin as a “pimple”, before it enlarged.
“I got scared when it started enlarging,’’ she said, adding that because of her condition, she can only ingest soft foodstuffs.
Mr Ongei says he can’t abandon his wife because she was given to him by God. Mr Warren Wabulembo, the assistant medical superintendent of Nabisoigi Health Centre in Namutumba District, says treatment of the tumor depends on its size, location, and type.
He, however, says, treatment may include; a surgical procedure to remove the tumor and repair the jaw, radiation therapy, and use of prosthetic and supportive care.
Subsequently, the couple has made a formal appeal to the public and well-wishers to contribute to their cause on 0770789183, registered in the name of Mr Joseph Ongei, the husband.