Mbali can only get arms in 8 years
It will take eight years for the Limpopo girl born without arms to get artificial limbs.
This is according to the provincial department of health, which recently conducted an assessment on Mbali Mahlale.
Last week Sowetan reported on the plight of the 10-year-old girl who uses her feet to eat, bathe, write and do other chores.
Dr Charlotte Mlangeni, clinical advisor in the office of Limpopo health MEC Phophi Ramathuba, said there were two types of prosthesis and that an assessment conducted on Mahlale indicated that she needed a mould and not robotic prosthesis.
Mlangeni said a mould prosthesis came in the form of a jacket and that a person who had stopped growing could keep it for as long as they were still alive.
"We felt it better to afford Mbali a mould prosthesis as soon as she reaches 18 so that she can keep it for as long as she is alive," Mlangeni said.
She said if Mahlale was to be fitted with artificial limbs now, it meant they would have to be changed when she turned 18, which would be expensive. Mlangeni said the prosthesis costs above a million rands.
Mahlale's mother, Vutlhari, was called to Pietersburg Hospital last week where she was told that it would be too costly to give her daughter artificial limbs now.
"I'm disappointed that it will take eight more years for my daughter to get artificial limbs. I was hoping that she would be helped soon to be able to lead a normal life," said the 32-year-old mother.
The mother said she was told one hand would cost R500000 and her daughter's chest would have to be adjusted.
She appealed to the business community for assistance.