A five-year-old boy allegedly suffering from epilepsy spends his days chained to a tree in his home at Mangotsonya near New Ningo. According to his mother, this is to prevent him from harming himself.
Adom News’ Akosua Asiedua Akuffo who visited the scene reports that the boy is chained amongst goats in the middle of the house with a padlock at his feet to ensure he does not free himself from his bonds.
Akosua reports the boy also has burn scars on his face, and is also forced to recite the English alphabet and count numbers although he has never been to school.
The boy’s mother, Christiana Teye who is a pastor, informed Akosua that tying the boy to the tree was the only option she had to protect her son.
According to her, her son has, on several occasions, endangered his own life whenever he was caught in a seizure, adding that sometimes he goes missing for days when her eyes are turned away for a minute.
“About two years ago he fell into boiling water on fire when no one was watching and burnt his face badly – and there were times when he got missing from home and he was found far away at Kpong,” she said.
Christiana Teye said the boy went missing on one occasion and people who found him accused him of witchcraft and beat him up, so she felt the need to keep him at home, hence the chain.
Christiana and her husband have eight children but they do not have a stable income. She said she engages in petty trading and also pastors a small church near their home, while her husband does part-time job as a mason.
“We have spent a lot of the little money we make on medical care for our son and now we do not have any more money to spend so chaining him to the tree was a last resort to prevent any more problems,” she said.
Christiana says she is aware tying the boy to the tree is legally unacceptable but she and her husband are at their wits end.