Airtel has used the latest episode of Airtel Touching Lives to show how timely intervention can save the lives of children who are in dire need of medical attention.
The sixth episode of the philanthropic programme’s third season, which aired at the weekend, features two little girls, both of whom receive a Touching Lives relief package from the telecommunication services provider.
One of the children suffers from a congenital heart condition, and the other, an orphan, is a victim of HIV/AIDS.
Six-year-old Hannah Enakrakpor was born with a heart defect that makes her breathless after walking a few steps. “Our daughter is dying,” said Andrew Enakrakpor, her father. “I don’t want to lose my daughter.”
However, to keep Hannah alive, the parents said they must pay for an expensive heart surgery in India. “But I don’t have that kind of money,” her mother, Rebecca Enakrakpor said. “In fact, I don’t have anything.”
The other child, Simbiat Taiwo, nine, currently lives with her indigent 80-year-old grandmother in Ikare Akoko, Ondo State. Both of her parents died when she was only six years old and in 2014, after she fell into a curious illness, doctors discovered she had HIV.
“When we found her, she had a massively swollen head and unexplained sores on her body. She wasn’t going to school,” said Olubiyi Love Ogundipe, a social worker at St Joavics, a non-governmental organisation devoted to orphans and widows. Taiwo’s condition was “shocking,” he added.
With the assistance of teachers in the local primary school and doctors at the nearby Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Taiwo received an initial treatment for the sores and enormous bumps on her head. The next stage of her treatment said Ogundipe, would be to get her placed on Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART).
Aside from that, “we have been grappling with the question of who will take care of Simbiat after her grandmother passes on,” he said.
Airtel paid for a corrective surgery for Hannah Enakrakpor and created a scholarship worth N1m for Simbiat Taiwo. Aside from that, the telecom company will pay Taiwo’s grandmother’s rent for two years.
“We hope that Touching Lives will inspire well-to-do Nigerians to help the disadvantaged and support the work of NGOs like St Joviacs,” said Airtel in a statement.
Hosted by Wana Udobang, Airtel Touching Lives will return to television networks all over the continent on Saturday and Sunday, the company said.
The next episode will premiere on Saturday on Africa Magic Urban at 6:30pm and on Africa Magic Family at 7pm. Later, RaveTV will air the same instalment from 9-9:30pm.
The following day, a repeat broadcast will be on Africa Magic World from 6-6:30pm. NTA Network and ArewaTV will do the same at 6:30pm and 7pm, respectively.