Journalist seeks $25,000 for cancerous son’s operation in war-torn DRC

Six-year-old cancerous Radjabu Mathias Kighoma. (Image: Courtesy)

A Congolese journalist who lost a job following the renewed M23 rebel advances in Rutshuru is appealing for support to raise $25,000 for the surgery of his son.

Mr Jeremie Kighoma’s six-year-old son, Radjabu Mathias Kighoma, tested positive for cancer after the first operation that left his face swelling in November last year.

It started as a small protuberance after the child allegedly hit his head on the foundation of a building while they were playing as children, he says.

“I started witnessing my child’s health complication when the security situation was deterioration with the advance of the M23 rebels. Many roads were blocked but I had to move through hardships to get treatment in Goma city and later to Kapai Hospital in Rwanda,” says Mr Kighoma.

Shortly later, La Voix de Mikeno FM a radio station that employed him was unfortunately attacked by armed men and consequently closed; leaving him jobless amidst bulging health bills.

Mr Jeremie Kighoma in the studio of Voix de ikeno before its closure. (Image: Courtesy)

The media environment in Rutshuru remains volatile and his hopes to regain employment is very thin since his former employer, Mr Innocent Garubanda, also went missing after the attack on the radio and its consequent closure.

Mr Kighoma is among the 68 journalists from Masisi and Rutshuru areas of North Kivu Province that lost jobs due to M23-government forces conflict in the past eight months.

The journalist told Kazi-njema online radio reporter that he has so far spent about $5,000 on treatment related expenses struggling for the life of his son, Radjabu.

The child is currently in Goma city, taking chemotherapies as his father mobilises resources for an operation that must be done as soon as possible to control the disease from spreading further.

Audio: Kighoma on child’s health (Kiswahili)

“I am now drained because I have sold almost all that I had but only to see his life deteriorating. Medics have told me that if I raise the $25,000 the child’s life can be rescued but one eye will remain blind which I accepted as long as the child is saved,” says Kighoma.

He appeals for help form any well-wisher who may get this information and feel touched.

Journalist Jeremie Kighoma sits with his ailing son, Radjabu Mathias Kighoma at home. (Image: Courtesy)

Mr Kighoma is a resident of Kiwanja town in Rutshuru territory which is currently among the fragile M23 rebel-controlled areas.

Some organisations like WEMA Health Care Initiative have already lent a hand to rescue the child.

You can reach Kighoma on +243997794670.


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