Francis Kakinda: The Story of a Man Paralyzed for Ever

Francis Kakinda showing us scan images of his diseased spine

Most probably all of us have ever suffered a situation of simple paralysis in the limbs especially due to sitting in one position for a long time. In most cases, ask we are unable to stand but this is short-lived and it wears out in a minute.

This was the case with 27 year old Francis Kakinda, then working as a messenger with Tamale Driving School in Mengo, Kisenyi, a Kampala suburb.

His work as a messenger involved among other duties, processing permits and other documents for clients and most of the times, he was at the Uganda Revenue Authority headquarters in Nakawa to process the documents.

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“In early February 2015 while seated at a slab in Nakawa, I felt a simple paralysis in my right leg but I was not worried for this was normal. I went to a nearby clinic and given some medication before being told I would fine,” Kakinda starts his 2 year ordeal.

“The situation however worsened and after a week, I could not walk without the aid of a stick. I cried a lot for now I could no longer go for work.”

The father of two says that he now realized something was not right with his health and sought services from Naguru government hospital where he was checked and given medication and promised he would be fine in a short time.

At Naguru, he was advised to go for an x-ray scan at Kampala Imaging Centre  to find out the issue with his body but says they found nothing in the body.

However, Kakinda says that after a week since getting medication from Naguru hospital and being scanned, both legs had now become paralyzed and he could not walk at all.

“I feared and realized I could never walk for the rest of my life. I started calling on friends for help .I was then taken for traditional healers by relatives who thought I had been bewitched.”

He however says after spending a lot of money for treatment from traditional healers and the situation was only deteriorating, he decided to run to Mulago referral hospital.

At Mulago hospital, they advised him to go for an MR scan which later revealed a substance at the lower spinal cord.

“At this time, I could not feel the lower part of my body. Even if you cut off my feet, I could not feel any pain.”

The doctors at Mulago according to Kakinda advised that he had to go for a surgery to rectify the problem.

“I had first dragged feet on the surgery but when I realized I could not control urine, I then accepted to be operated upon,” he says.

During the surgery a certain body full of fluid was removed from his spinal cord and samples were tested from different laboratories around the city.

According to the laboratory results from Makerere University Pathology core reference laboratory dated  March 19,2015,Kakinda had caseating  epithelioid granulomas containing degenerate ova whose features are of an illness known as Schistosomiasis.

Other results from Lancet laboratory also indicated signs of Schistosomiasis.

He says that he was told by medics that he had got a strange illness; not common in Uganda and the only medicine to cure it was expensive.

Kakinda narrates that his family and friends fundraised to have him get the medication.

A close relative donated to him a wheelchair which the medics advised him to get as he gets back to his feet.

“I was told by medics from Mulago that I should move around in the wheelchair as well as going for massage so as to get healed but this I was told would take a long time.”


Kakinda, a staunch Catholic who also doubles as a choir member however thinks he might not get back to his feet after spending almost 2 years on the sick bed.

In his single room house in Mbuya Kinawataka, the sight of Kikinda’s condition, — taking care of his two young girls Maria and Cathy — is one that is heart wrenching.

Kakinda is the bread winner of his two girls after being abandoned by his wife

Kakinda is the bread winner of his two girls after being abandoned by his wife

He says, his girlfriend and mother of his kids after realizing he would not get back to his feet, decided to leave and get another man.

“Even my relatives no longer want to hear from me. No one is here to take care of me during this situation. I cannot control urine and flows as it pleases.”

Kakinda also narrates that on eating food, it takes him more than a week before easing himself, a situation he says makes him uncomfortable.

He says he has lost hope and thinks he will never get back to his feet because he has no money for medication.

“How I wish media houses could interest themselves in my plight. I feel too much pain and burning in my knees ever since I got sick. This is the same case with my anus. I don’t feel my feet and toes.”

“I face frequent urination and yet I cannot control it .I don’t know what is next for my life.”

Kakinda however says he remains devoted to God and will always pray so that his condition becomes better.


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