Written by George Ayieko

On Thursday 11th April St Bernadette Mary School closed for their mid-term break after a very busy three months. All the pupils & parents eagerly await sight of their report books and I noticed that although Mama Kalama was queueing up in Standard 7, her son Cosmos Kakunde was missing, knowing this boy it was very unusual for him to be absent. The mother then informed me that he had been bitten by a snake the previous night and she had taken him to the doctor before coming to St Bernadette Mary School to pick up Cosmos’ report book.

Cosmas in the family room

In the evening I visited the family to see how the boy was as it is our procedure to write up a report for the school records, I was not unduly concerned as I believed he had received proper medical treatment. On reaching the home I found the child sitting in front of the family house with his leg swollen with black strips, I had never saw this “treatment’ before for snake bite. I was flabbergasted to learn that the mother took him to the witch doctor not a proper medical doctor, and the witch doctor had painted his foot & leg with black stripes which were supposed to cure the poison from the bite.

differentiate the two

Thankfully Cosmos was not bitten one of the more venomous snakes otherwise he would be dead. We are now taking him to the medical centre this morning to get the proper medication and we are hoping he will not have any lasting medical issues due to the time lapse between getting the bite and receiving proper medical treatment.

Cosmas with mother Kalama

It does sound unbelievable that in this 21st century people still go for witch doctor for medication but firstly it is highly unlikely that Mama Kalama has received any education whatsoever so she has grown up in fear of the Witch Doctor and how “powerful” he is within the community. Secondly the family have no money to pay for a trip to the clinic, you can see from the photos that they life that live is a struggle on a daily basis, money for medical treatment is not an option.

The children outside family house

Seeing the plight of Cosmos and his family makes us all realise the importance of St Bernadette Mary School as education is the only way forward for these poor people. We also have to say Asante Sana to DAFA whose generous donation is paying for all our medical costs throughout 2013 at both The Good Life Orphanage and St Bernadette Mary School

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela

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