Kelita is a single mother with four children, aged 18,14,12, and 8. Kelita shared that she separated from her husband in 2017 because she would not adhere to cultural chieftaincy rules that wives are supposed to follow. Kelita refused to stop going to church; hence her family broke apart, and her husband married another woman. He does not provide support for his children so Kelita works hard to support her family on her own.
Kelita sells cooked green maize in the nearest markets, earning about $37.00 per month. She and her four children live in a three-room house without water or electricity. Kelita does extra work in people’s gardens for her family’s support and shared that she enjoys eating nsima (ugali) with vegetables prepared with groundnut flour.
Kelita was well until 2011, when, after the delivery of her third child, she noted a fast-growing swelling on her neck. She did not seek medical care as there was no pain. As time passed, the swelling grew, but was not painful.
In 2021, Kelita started experiencing neck heaviness and breathlessness, frequent coughs, and pains when carrying heavy items on her head. This affected her daily activities and business since she could no longer carry a basket of maize on her head. Kelita stopped her cooking business and relied on doing piece work in people’s gardens to support her family. However, even this is difficult now, as bending has become a challenge.
In November 2021, Kelita visited her nearest hospital and was referred to Kamuzu Central Hospital, where an ultrasound scan revealed a bilateral complex mass in her thyroid. Kelita was sent for thyroid function tests but since she did not have the money required for the tests, she returned home to try traditional medicine, to no avail. In July, Kelita met a Partners in Hope (PIH) beneficiary who guided her to visit PIH for potential support from Watsi.
On August 14th, Kelita met the surgeon at PIH. After the required tests were completed, a diagnosis of goiter was confirmed. Kelita was told she needed to have a surgical intervention called thyroidectomy, the removal of part or all of the thyroid gland.
Due to her financial challenges, Kelita was referred to Watsi’s medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, for support. Kelita could smile much bigger after hearing about the planned surgery and committed to a co-pay $27.64 from her savings.
Kelita hopes to be well again after the surgical operation. Kelita looks forward to the peace of mind that will enable her to support her children as a single parent. “I need my peace of mind for me to resume my business and be able to carry items on my head again. Kindly help me,” Kelita says.