MINOR surgeries and tests in preparation for a major operation on a 10-year-old child from Tsholotsho, who has both female and male sexual organs, have started, with Zimpapers yesterday donating $1 500.
Well-wishers have so far donated $4 200 for a series of operations to get rid of one of the organs.
Zimpapers spokesperson Ms Beatrice Tonhodzayi said the diversified media group felt obliged to support the initiative by its staff members.
“We feel we still need to do more in Matabeleland region because the company is what it is because of the people and so investing or giving back to the community through such initiatives is our passion,” said Ms Tonhodzayi.
“This child deserves a better quality of life and so matters to do with health, education and the environment are at our heart, hence the desire to give.”
Mr Frank Buyanga, the founder of the African Medallion Group based in South Africa, earlier donated $2 000, while scores of other donors have contributed a total of $696.
Mr Martin Makonese, a radiographer at Royal Arcade in Bulawayo, has done free ultra sound scans for the child.
The child needs money for accommodation, food and transport for her grandmother while she shuttles between Bulawayo and Harare for the tests and operation(s).
She also requires money for medicines.
The child, who cannot be named for ethical reasons, is suffering from a rare condition called “ambiguous genitalia” — also described as hermaphroditism.
The condition, the child’s grandmother told our Bulawayo Bureau, is affecting the youngster emotionally and physically.
The child is taking hormonal tablets and will be back in hospital on December 4 for further assessment.
The final major operation is expected to be performed in January after taking medication for three months.
She will take testosterone suppressing tablets for the rest of her life.
The family is now appealing for money to buy hormonal tablets, only found in Harare, with a month’s course costing US$23 as of last week.