“No one wishes to be born with a disability, have a child or family member with it. Most of the children born with disability face stigma, trauma, and so do the parents. I am grateful for AIC Cure Children’s Hospital of Kenya for what they did for me; they shaped me into the man l am today,” says Milton Ilahuya one of the beneficiaries of Kenya’s.
Milton is one of the 250,000 patients treated at the county’s first paediatric orthopaedic teaching hospital. Growing up as a child in Nairobi Milton realised something unusual with his body. His upper body was growing while his legs became weaker. This made it difficult for him to play soccer, which was his favourite sport.
Escaping the stigma of disability Milton grew up in Nairobi Industrial, from a humble background, just him his mother and her
two siblings, He never imagined at some point his future could be bright. “I’m grateful for my mom, her family and my siblings for taking care and standing by me every Step of the way.
He was enrolled at Joy Town Special school for children with disabilities therefore didn’t experience bullying or stigma. While at school they embraced and encouraged each other until his journey began at AIC Cure Children’s Hospital where his mother was referred to by a friend. “I was fortunate to be brought to the facility because the treatment I got was free of charge.”
After completing his primary education, Milton underwent a successful surgery on January 8, 2014. He was given prosthetic legs to aid in his movement as he recovered. ‘’I fall short of words to express my gratitude, for this. God bless AIC Cure Kenya,” he says.
“I am here to prove that disability is not inability. While in high-school former players of Paralympics Kenya recruited me, and we were taken in South Africa for a wheelchair basketball tournament in 2021 and 2022. I would later participate in paralympics in Tanzania and Ghana early this year.”
Orthopaedics include the treatment of musculoskeletal systems; bone, joints ligaments, muscles, spinal deformation, among others. Surgical procedures include amputation and joint fusion spine surgery among others.
Milton spoke at the Silver Jubilee celebrations for AIC Cure Children’s Hospital in Kijabe, Kenya. The facility was started in 1988 and offers reprieve to children living with treatable orthopaedic deformities including spine disorders, knocked knees, bow legged, cleft lip and palate among others.
According to the Cure Kenya Executive Director Dr. Evelyn Mbugua this initiative has assisted 46,000 children who have undergone successful surgeries, with 257,000 patient visits. The hospital has continued to offer specialised training to medics in the orthopaedic field.
Justin Narducci the President and CEO AIC Cure International said that the teams of experts from Kenya have honoured the call to restore the dignity of children with deformities.
Speaking at the same event, Lari Member of Parliament Mburu Kahangara insisted on the need to ensure accessible, affordable and quality health care to all Kenyans. He said: “This facility where we sit today, is not just a hospital. To the patients and their families, this is their source of strength. This hospital has been their light when they thought their children would never walk, sit or smile again. From club foot, bow legs, cleft lip and palate to spinal deformities, AIC Cure Kenya has continued to provide world-class care to these little angels.”