Keeping Children safe

Nature: Child Neglect

Location: Nairobi
Age: 3

The case of Sam* was reported to the helpline by a Good Samaritan.  The child was living with four of his elder siblings who were adults after the death of their parents.  He was HIV positive. After the siblings discovered his HIV status they resulted to neglecting him hoping he would soon die and not be a bother to them anymore. The siblings were begged by neighbours to take the child to hospital but for a whole month they kept on running away from the responsibility until the helpline was informed and immediately went to his rescue.

The home visit conducted by Childline Kenya staff and children officers based at the helpline revealed that the child was badly emaciated and could not walk or stand despite being three years old. He was surviving on tea and mandazi only, because the siblings were not willing to feed him on anything else. The child was immediately admitted at a district hospital on intensive care. He was treated for severe malnutrition and Tuberculosis and was responding well to medication for a while. Alternative shelter was sought for him since his siblings had completely shunned him and would not even visit him in hospital. Unfortunately, almost all facilities were hesitant to admit him because of his health status. CLK engaged a nurse who was willing to watch over him during his stay at the hospital and even considered hiring a nanny to take care of him full time if he would get admission at an institution.

Unfortunately, Sam did not recover and passed on while in hospital three months later.