Dad's anguish as malaria strikes family, claims baby

Benneth Mabunda and his daughter Nhlamazi of Giyani are still recovering from malaria. Benneth lost his youngest daughter through malaria last week.PHOTO: ANTONIO MUCHAVE/SOWETAN
Benneth Mabunda and his daughter Nhlamazi of Giyani are still recovering from malaria. Benneth lost his youngest daughter through malaria last week.PHOTO: ANTONIO MUCHAVE/SOWETAN

Ten-year-old Nhlamazi Mabunda wept as she held her 18-month-old sister's lifeless body in hospital where her entire family was being treated for malaria.

This was according to her father Benneth Mabunda who learnt from relatives that was how Nhlamulo had reacted when her baby sister Tshedza died in her presence. He said he was told that Nhlamulo had pulled her sister's body closer to her chest to wake her up as tears streamed down her cheeks.

Mabunda, who was also admitted to Nkhensani Hospital in Giyani, Limpopo, in another ward, only learnt of the tragedy the next morning, hours before his daughter's burial on Friday last week.

"I knew that my family was also there. I had seen my babies playing on their bed in hospital but little did I know that one of them would die. I've accepted her death but what hurts me more is that her older sister had to witness it. She is due for trauma counselling," Mabunda said.

The northern parts of Mpumalanga and Limpopo have been hit by an outbreak of malaria and nearly 2000 people have been treated at various hospitals.

It is not yet official how many people have died but Sowetan was told of at least six people in Giyani who died this month.

Mabunda's wife, Funzani, was admitted to Nkhensani Hospital last week Wednesday and their two children followed her in the afternoon after showing malaria symptoms.

Mabunda, who left Giyani on Monday for work, had already started getting sick and returned home and was also admitted at the same hospital on Thursday.

Tshedza was buried at the family's home in Thomo village near Giyani.

 

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