A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD boy from Bulawayo is precariously clinging to life, as his parents, who are staunch Jehovah's Witnesses are allegedly refusing that he undergoes a blood transfusion to save his life, citing church religious reasons.
The minor (name supplied) who is admitted at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH), has reportedly been in hospital for the past three months, after suffering a cancerous ulcer, which saw him losing his left leg. According to health workers at the hospital, doctors had initially prescribed that the boy undergoes a blood transfusion, before he eventually lost his leg.
"The boy is not producing blood and the wound is not healing. A few weeks ago his leg fell off on its own, as it was rotting and was dry. Right now he is only receiving medicine to assist him to generate blood but it appears to be futile. His parents refused him to undergo a blood transfusion, saying it was against their church doctrine," said a source from the hospital.
The workers also alleged that the boy's mother has kept him guard since February to ensure that the hospital does not carry out blood transfusion as prescribed.
"We are not God and neither do we have the ability to see into the future but the boy doesn't have much time to live," said the source.
Sunday News visited the hospital, where it witnessed the boy's mother standing guard besides his hospital bed. The mother declined to talk to the Press concerning the issue. UBH clinical director Dr Narcisius Dzvanga confirmed the issue, saying the hospital was only administering drugs to help the boy generate blood and also to ease the pain.
"It is their religion and as a hospital we respect their wishes. The boy is getting injections to help generate blood but his parents are adamant about getting a blood transfusion. As doctors we cannot determine much on the boy's life," said Dr Dzvanga.
A similar case of a Jehovah's Witness couple from South Africa, was reported in that country, after the family refused their chronically ill child undergo a blood transfusion. Their decision ended up being challenged in a court of law. The court ordered that the five-year-old child who was suffering from sickle cell anaemia be given the blood transfusion, but the parents defied the order saying that they believed there was an alternative medical approach to save him.