This is Esther in her wheelchair, with her mother and 2 of her sisters. She is 18 years old.
Esther caught malaria when she was only a few months old, which left her unable to talk, walk or look after herself. She needs permanent care.
Esther lives at home with her parents and extended family. Her mother Veronica, works at Likoma hospital. This means that Esther’s day to day personal care is usually done by her father. This is not dignified for either of them – when Esther has her period, her father is the one who changes her cloth rags and cleans her.
Veronica was one of the first women to receive a cup on Likoma and told us about Esther. We wanted to do whatever we could to help. Having spoken to the Matron and nurses at the hospital and discussed Esther’s situation, we have given her a cup. Because a cup can be left in for up to 10 hours, Veronica is able to change Esther’s cup for her before she goes to work, knowing that she will be safe and clean until the end of day when she gets home from her shift.