Jamio Hassan (10)

I'm going to play football again

Jamio is the only child in the tubercular ward at the University Hospital in Ibadan, founded by Damien Foundation. But he doesn't feel bored or lonely. “Everyone here is so lovely to me. The patients all look after each other.”
Jamio has been in hospital for four weeks now. He gets the occasional visit from his aunt, with whom he lives. His mother is too poor to look after him and his two younger sisters (Alima and Ashia), especially since his father's death two years ago. Jamio's father died of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. The doctors suspect that the father infected Jamio directly, giving the boy the resistant form of tuberculosis.
“I'm already feeling a lot better”, he says. Before he was admitted he was suffering from chest pains, heavy coughing, a high fever and difficulty breathing. Once he leaves the hospital he will be able to go back to school. He is in his seventh year at primary school and misses his friends. “I want to be a lawyer when I grow up”, he says. And what would he like to do when he gets his strength back? Without hesitation Jamio tells us, “I'd like to play football again!”

tuberculosis patient

tuberculosis patient

TEXTS: Wendy Huyghe
PHOTOS: Tim Dirven @T.Dirven for Damien Foundation


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