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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 March 2005, 15:39 GMT
Mutilated boys describe ordeal
Philip Barasa and Oscar Kituyi with Dr Pedro Cavadas
Philip and Oscar (centre and second right) are expected to make a full recovery
Two Kenyan boys, horribly mutilated in the mistaken belief that their genitals could be used in the treatment of HIV/Aids, have told the BBC of their ordeal.

Late last year, Philip Barasa and Oscar Kituyi, both from the remote northern region of Bungoma, had all or part of their genitals cut off to be sold for the making of an HIV/Aids potion. Another boy, six-year-old Omandi, was also attacked in a similar way.

Philip and Oscar have been treated at the Levante Rehabilitation Centre in the Spanish city of Valencia, where they have undergone reconstructive surgery; Omandi is expected there later this year.

Philip told BBC World Service's Outlook programme how he was attacked after being approached by a man offering him work.

"He said he would pay me 50 shillings every month," he recalled.

"He took me to a hotel, and asked me if I would like a beer. I didn't drink it... Then we took a shortcut through a farm. It started raining... I don't know exactly how they attacked me.

"I fell off my seat, and they carried me outside. They started cutting me.

"When they had finished, I just lay there. They had taken all my clothes off."

'Your life is over'

Philip was found in the morning by a woman.

Eventually the police were called, and Phillip was taken to a hospital in Bungoma, where his case came to the attention of foreign doctors.

Another victim was 15-year-old Oscar. In his case, the injuries were even more severe - he had his penis, testicles and one ear cut off.

He was also abducted in the same way, by a man offering money for work.

They are the strongest children I've ever seen in my life
Dr Pedro Cavadas
He was walked to a remote sugar cane plantation, before being stopped by the man.

"Then he said: 'Between you and me, your life is over'," Oscar said.

"Then some men attacked me. They started removing my clothes and cutting me.

"I tried to suppress the pain - it really hurt. When they finished, they just threw me into a bush - they left me in the sugar cane and just walked away."

Oscar, whose arm was also broken, added that at the time he did not understand what had happened - "I felt just like I was dead."

He too was taken to Bungoma hospital. The injuries both boys had sustained came to the attention of Spanish doctor Pedro Cavadas, who was on a surgical trip in Kenya.

Full recovery

"When I first saw them, I felt that something had to be done," Dr Cavadas told Outlook.

"Technically, I was able to reconstruct - but the problem was that this surgery is too complex, and the post-op care is too lengthy, to be performed there.

"This is why we decided on taking the two older kids to Spain."

Dr Cavadas added that the injuries the boys had sustained were "extremely severe."

Oscar in particular had undergone a very complex series of operations, involving reconstruction of the left radial nerve in his shoulder, his left ear, and penis reconstruction - the most complex and technically-demanding.

Dr Cavadas also said he had never seen a case like this before. He expects the new penises will be fully functional and regain complete feeling - and that the boys will recover fully.

"It's shocking how strong they are - they are the strongest children I've ever seen in my life," he stated.

"They can talk about their experience... I would say the chances are that they will be able to have a near-normal life."


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