Deserted by her two surviving children out of 6 (four males and two females), Ma Ige Buba is a 60 year old woman from Rijau Local Government Area of Niger State who was recently diagnosed of leprosy. When the staff of TLMN visited the Leprosy Referral Hospital in Chanchaga, Ma Ige who had lost her husband and four sons over the last 10 years lamented how terrible her life had been because of leprosy. She explained that before her husband died, she had been experiencing symptoms of the disease with several patches appearing on various parts of her body but in ignorance, she resorted to herbal medicine, which proved abortive.
As the years went by, her already clawed ulcerous fingers and toes began to fall off leaving her with only two fingers on her left hand and two toes on each feet. Ashamed to be identified with her misfortune, her two surviving daughters deserted her and fled to another city leaving her to bear her pain and misery alone. In tears, Ma Ige explained that it has been 6 years since she set eyes on them.
Left to suffer and perhaps die alone, Ma Ige who is a member of the United Missionary Church of Africa (UMCA) fled to the church for help and it was there that her Pastor referred her to the Leprosy Referral Hospital in Chanchaga, Minna, Niger State which is supported by TLM Nigeria. On reaching the hospital, Ma Ige was confirmed to have leprosy and she commenced treatment with MDT. At the time of TLM Nigeria’s visit, Ma Ige has been on the MDT drug for three days. When TLM Nigeria interviewed her, she had this to say in Hausa (translated in English) “It feels good to be here, at least I am in the company of people like me and people who care about me. For a long time, all I knew was the rejection, isolation and loneliness. Now even if I die, I believe I have a family that can at least bury me. I am grateful”. The team prayed with her and assured her of TLM Nigeria’s continuous support to ensure she is completely cured and back on her feet again.