Getting to know Limbani
Limbani lives in the central region of Malawi, where he is a teacher at a secondary school. Limbani has a wife
and a 16-year-old son. He is a parishioner a local church, and he volunteers regularly as a church youth leader.
In October 2022, Limbani developed a simple sore on his penis. He sought help from several health facilities including traditional healers, but with no success. Just when Limbani had used most of his savings to pay for the various treatments, he received a diagnosis of penile cancer from the doctors at Kamuzu Central Hospital.
Limbani faced many challenges since his diagnosis
Lambani embarked on a course of chemotherapy, and received a few doses, but soon had to stop because he
ran out of money for transport to the Cancer Centre at Kamuzu Central Hospital. During this time, Lambani’s
wife, who accused of promiscuity, left him and their 16-year-old son.
After running out money, Lambani went to Ndi Moyo palliative care centre (Inter Care partner health unit)
where he presented with a painful wound that bled sometimes and produced an odorous discharge.
Additionally, he presented with anaemia. He reported of feeling so uncomfortable with the smell and isolated
himself. With the pain and embarrassment of his wound Limbani also found it difficult to walk. Consequently,
he stopped going to work and, unsurprisingly, he was eventually laid off on medical grounds.
Limbani could no longer support his son, including covering secondary school fees. As a result, Limbani’s son
dropped out of school, which, naturally, caused Limbani a lot of emotional distress.
Limbani experienced stigmatisation by members of the local community; he isolated himself because of the
repugnant odour from his cancerous wound. This change in his behaviour included ceasing church attendance.
Adding further to his losses, Limbani was removed from the position of a Youth Leader because, effectively, he
had withdrawn his service.
Bringing dignity to Limbani’s life
Upon diagnosis, Limbani’s cancer was at an advanced stage, meaning there was no possibility of a cure; immediate palliation of his symptoms was the crucial and available option. To that end, the doctors at Ndi Moyo prescribed three medications: Indomethacin and Amitriptyline for pain relief; Ferrous Sulphate for anaemia and crushed Metronidazole for his wound. N.B. All medicines excepting Metronidazole were donated by Inter Care.
The treatment helped the team to promote Limbani’s comfort. Limbani’s pains and symptoms are now under control.
The clinical team found that relief of pain and symptoms helped Limbani to: accept his condition, promote his self -esteem and reduce his self-stigma. Limbani can now chat with the Ndi Moyo Palliative Care Centre team when they conduct home visits.
Some community members started to visit Limbani which cheers him up. Limbani’s son and siblings are happy
to see him smile again and reclaim his will to live. His family appreciate the treatment that is being given and
changing his life. Limbani is no longer in isolation and his community have desisted their stigmatisation.
Limbani has also resumed making decisions for his family, an act that he has not been able to perform for a
Inter Care’s support has helped the clinical team to manage Limbani’s symptoms and improve his quality of life.
Limbani continues to receive palliative care from Ndi Moyo. All the products used are important to enable Limbani to live with reduced pain for the rest of his life, and for Limbani to experience the best quality of life medically possible: to die with dignity.
“I am one of the lucky patients to receive treatment from Ndi Moyo’s donors [Inter Care]. The medications have worked wonders to relieve my pain… I have battled against all hope. Thank you” Limbani – patient receiving palliative care and treatment donated by Inter Care.