It was an afternoon of 3 August last week; a few metres from my window, a young boy slept under the shade of a tree, in a dirty t-shirt and dirty blue jeans. He slept on the ground, he needed some help; I quickly left the comfort of my room to get a closer look at him.
I spoke to him, but the young boy was so weak that he could not answer, before long froth began to come out of his little mouth. Being of little knowledge concerning all things medical, I was alarmed. I thought the implications of foam coming out of the mouth must have been terrible.
Two fellows came up, students to be precise; advised me to stay away lest the boy dies while I am close, consequently the complications of being witness to the death of a human might arise.
Someone else advised us to take the little boy to the police, but it would have been the most illogical thing, for he needed to be rushed to the hospital fast, He needed medical attention there and then.
I rushed back into the house, mum stood there and tears flowed, I hit a plan and so I took my pouch where I keep business cards, of various people who work in various organizations that purport to support vulnerable children.
I called JCCP, since they are one organization which had always visited our area in an effort to help street boys out. I got on the line spoke to one of their personnel; He spoke to me like concerned citizen hence I thought JCCP would send a vehicle to take the little boy to the hospital.
Of course that was just my imagination; no vehicle came to take the boy to hospital. I tried calling various other organizations. In all that I did I made use of a directory for contacts from all those ‘million’ business cards of mine where of no use by then.
I also called an official from the Ministry of Social Welfare and Gender to notify him of my predicament. By that time I was getting impatient for all those who I had called; who profess love for children had not come to the aid of the little soul.
It was ten past two, as I searched through the directory for vital contacts I failed to get the contact to the hospital, I am referring to Juba Teaching Hospital much to my chagrin for I had expected to see it right in that directory. I called the directory hotline, on the other end was a lady who answered in a polite manner.
I asked the lady if she could give assist me with the telephone contacts of the hospital, particularly the emergency ward. The lady told me that in her earlier attempts to have the vital contacts of the hospital published in the directory for the benefit of the public; she was told that the hospital telephone numbers where confidential, hence the vital contacts where never published.
I rushed outside to check on the boy, the situation was getting more desperate, that boy must have been in pain, for he twisted and turned, before long he was very weak, the twisting and turning was no more, I still could feel his breath, checked his pulse, there was still hope.
Here I was stuck with a little man who could not say a word due to sickness. I enquired from a few street boys nearby as to the origins of this young boy. I was told the boy had come from Kapoeta.
His origins at this time where not important anyway, I blamed myself for wasting time. So I hit my final plan, I managed to convince an older street boy to help me carry the boy to hospital, he agreed.
Hospital was far, Its Hai Malakal we are talking about here, so we got two boda’s one on which I carried the little boy who by now was in a very pathetic condition, Thank God the young boy was breathing.
We got there in a few minutes, and so I rushed around the reception area carrying a soul that was too weak to notice, somehow he was still breathing. We managed to get the young boy attended to. At that instance as he lay on a bed he opened his eyes.
He was well; we later got to know from the boy that he hails from Terekeka, name? James Peter, Age? 5. We managed to get him admitted into the children’s ward. Apparently he needed energy so Intravenous therapy (drip) was administered.
At that instance I was already sweating, tired and hungry, but all in my fatigue I asked myself if anyone cared. The worst against the young boy, Saviours abound in many forms, sizes and names all over the land, and not one could salvage the soul from the jaws of the unknown.