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First children’s OR in a refugee camp ended Jibril’s misery

Ten-year old Jibril Hussein Imidi was born with a hernia and, ever since, his mother, Azizi Jumma Omari, had been trying everything to make sure her son received the medicine required to deal with the condition. 

Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jibril and his mum had to move to the largest refugee camp in the world, Kakuma Refugee Camp, in Kenya. 

Jibril has been through a lot due to his condition. Stomach aches were a common problem, and he was not able to walk at a time when other youngsters were able to do so. He also had problems with eating and couldn’t be breastfed. 

His mother managed to get some medication to help ease the condition, but her attempts to secure an operation for Jibril came to nothing after she was told that he would have to reach the age of four before surgery would be considered. However, even after he reached the required age, the family had to wait longer because there were no specialised doctors available at the refugee camp. 

While awaiting the much-needed operation, Jibril found it very hard to interact with others at school. Whenever he tried to play with his friends, the pain from his condition would rise up and stop him in his tracks. What’s more, he couldn’t eat some ‘hard’ foods, such as chapati, because of the pain that it caused.

After so many years of suffering, global children’s health charity Kids Operating Room became the solution to Jibril’s problem.

Soon after the charity opened an Operating Room for children at the Kakuma Refugee Camp, Jibril got the operation he required with all going well. 

Jibril was freed from the pain and suffering, and was now lives life free from the hernia. For the first time ever, he enjoys school and is able to play well with his fellow classmates. His friends no longer worry about hurting him while playing, and Jibril no longer feels rejected by his peers. 

The operation has also made such a difference to the rest of his family, too. Jibril can fetch water and carry out other chores in the home. Azizi admits to being “overwhelmed with relief” and is ever thankful to KidsOR for what they have done.

Mama Ziza added: “I have neighbours who have children that are suffering and I have told them to register them at the hospital in Kakuma because KidsOR is helping sick children now like they did with my child. Jibril is doing very fine now and all of the problems of before are gone.” 

In June 2020, KidsOR installed the world’s first-ever children’s Operating Room in a refugee camp. The OR is expected to care for up to 1,000 children every year led by Kenyan Paediatric surgeon Neema Kaseje.  Alongside key partners UNHCR, IRC and the Biltema Foundation, the dedicated children’s operating theatre will also scale the paediatric surgical care in Kakuma through the training of junior doctors. 

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