One night in 2011, Uwimana Jeaninne retired to bed like any other. But the following morning, she noticed a small pimple had poped up on her forehead.
Uwimana didn’t take it too serious because it was not the first time she would have a pimple on her face. In most cases pimples come and go.
“I woke up in the morning and there was a pimple on my face. It was itching and I rubbed on pomade [liniment] but the pain just increased,” she narrates her ordeal.
As days went by, Uwimana continued to feel very uncomfortable with too much pain as the pimple grew bigger.
She sought medical help at Ruhengeri hospital which later referred her case to CHUK hospital dozens of kilometers away in Kigali city.
However, due to financial challenges, Uwimana could not afford to travel back and forth between Musanze district and Kigali as the CHUK doctors set rendezvous with very close intervals.
Sometimes she would travel to Kigali and in other situations she wouldn’t make it to fulfill rendezvous with doctors.
“Up to now I don’t have any solution to my worsening condition,” Uwimana who is seemingly withdrawn tells of her plight.
She remembers an encounter with a soldier who expressed sympathy and advised that she visits Kanombe hospital but Uwimana couldn’t because of lack of basic health insurance [mituelle de sante].
Uwimana’s troubles are not yet over because her husband kicked her out of their home. They have four children together.
When she tried to return to her parents’ home, she was also rejected by her elderly mother. She later sought refuge at her brother but after a few days she was asked to leave.
Uwimana is now living by the mercy of God as she describes her current painful life.
This story was first published in Kinyarwanda by Kigalitoday
Understanding Pimples (Acne)
A Pimple is a localized skin inflammation as a result of over activity of the oil glands at the base of specialized hair follicles.
Acne happens when oil (sebaceous) glands come to life around puberty, when these glands are stimulated by male hormones that are produced in the adrenal glands of both boys and girls.
The oil glands, which are located just beneath the skin, continuously produce and secrete oil through openings in the skin. The oil lubricates and protects the skin.
Under certain circumstances, cells that are close to the openings of the oil glands block the openings. This causes a buildup of oil underneath the skin.
Bacteria, which live in everyone’s skin but generally mind their own business, feast on this oil, multiply, and cause the surrounding tissues to become inflamed if the follicle ruptures.
If the inflammation is right near the surface, you get a pustule; if it’s deeper, a papule (pimple); deeper still and it’s a cyst. If the pore of the affected hair follicle is closed to the surface, the result is a ” whitehead.”
If the pore is wide open, oil becomes oxidized (that is, acted on by oxygen in the air), the oil changes from white to black, and the result is a “blackhead.”