Boy With Rare Skin Disease Finally Airlifted To Nairobi


A 10 year old Kenyan boy who suffers a rare skin disease – ichthyosis – has been transferred from Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) yesterday.

Well-wishers moved by his condition rallied fund for the amazing transfer in order for him to received adequate treatment.

The disorder of Abshir Salat Gedi from Wajir County has made him unable to use his legs, forcing him to walk with a wheelchair.

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The sickness characterized by the presence of excessive amounts of dry surface scales has also made the young child a fearful sight to other children his age.

His limbs have wasted away while his skin and hair are literally falling off. More so, is the realization that his life has been revolving around a peeling and replenishing web.

Also, trying to avoid infection from making its way into the wound created by ichthyosis has been an everyday fight for the child and his parents.

Unlike other children, the child has remained sober, going through the thick patches for the past ten years of his life. But he is not alone in his suffering. There are nine other children admitted at the Wajir District Hospital with the same condition.

It took the good Samaritans on social media to rally round to get people fund the impromptu transfer to KNH.  In just two days, the well-wishers had raised Sh349,700 for his treatment.

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One of the donors identified as Mohamud Abbas said Abshir was born with this condition and due to stigma and poverty, his parents never sought help.

Mr. Abbas said many parents shy away from seeking for help because they fear been mocked by the community.

Ichthyosis refers to a relatively uncommon group of skin disorders. It is known as a disease of keratinization or cornification, and it is due to abnormal epidermal differentiation or metabolism.

The condition is a combination of over 20 skin disorders that end up showing their symptoms in the body. It makes the skin flaky, thick, dry and creating open wounds that could let in infections. Sadly, the disease has no cure but can be managed.

“For Abshir, we shall put him on skin moisturisers and oil soap supplements to get rid of the scaling. Soon, the skin will regenerate,” said skin specialist Jamal Abade.