Zimpapers donates $1 500 to Tsholotsho hermaphrodite Ms Beatrice Tonhodzayi

Whinsley Masara, Chronicle Reporter
MINOR surgeries and several tests in preparation for a major operation on a 10- year-old child from Tsholotsho who has both female and male sexual organs, have kicked off.

Well-wishers have so far donated $4 200 for a series of operations to get rid of one of the organs.

Zimpapers yesterday donated $1 500 against an initial quote of $2 500 after specialists recommended more tests and medication that pushed the quote up.

Zimpapers spokesperson, Ms Beatrice Tonhodzayi, said the company felt obliged to support the initiative by their staff member saying it was a worthy cause which needed their full support.

She said contributing to such causes was one of the company’s corporate social responsibilities, especially when it involves a child.

“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 by such initiatives is our passion.

“This child deserves a better quality of life and so matters to do with health, education and the environment are at our hearts, hence the desire to give,” said Ms Tonhodzayi.

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.

During the process, the child also needs money for accommodation, food and transport with her grandmother while she shuttles between Bulawayo and Harare for the tests and operation(s).

She also requires money for prescribed medicines during and after the procedure.

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 The Chronicle, is affecting the youngster emotionally and physically.

Following an article that was published in The Chronicle, our reporter, Whinsley Masara, also took the initiative to, through social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter, appeal for more funds from her friends and colleagues.

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, a month’s course costs US$23 as of last week.

The child’s widowed grandmother said the youngster was born with the condition.

Well-wishers can contact Whinsley Masara on 0776 263 533.— @winnie_masara

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