When the world caught glimpse of baby Arnella Kamanzi being brutalised by a Ugandan maid on recorded video footage, there was global outrage.
A UK Consultant Child Psychiatrist with 32-years’ experience treating and helping abused children; including those in Uganda; has made expert observations of the likely effect of the brutality on 18 months old Arnella, after analysing the infamous video.
Dr. Alyson Yandoli who has also been working with Uganda’s child psychiatrists and Uganda’s child mental health system since 2006 (she has been going back and forth to Uganda since 2006) described the behaviour of baby Arnella; as seen in the video, as that of a child in distress.
She singles out Arnella’s non-reactionary attitude when she is slapped the first time by the monstrous maid and the dreadful way she later throws up, as proof the toddler must have previously experienced abuse and was used to being hit.
Possible child abuse complications baby Arnella could suffer include; anxiety about separations with those she is attached to, fear of strangers, sleep disturbance, poor concentration, nightmares, behaviour problems and specific feeding difficulties when she starts associating eating with the forceful feeding that was applied to her and the bludgeoning meted on her when she threw up dreadfully. (DETAILS IN INTERVIEW AT BOTTOM OF ARTICLE).
Baby Arnella will recover quickly though, if one of the parents that already has a strong attachment with her is there with her after this traumatic incident (as opposed to living her under the care of a stranger).
“In the beginning of the video, when the maid snatched the food away and then hit the child in the face, the child still sat there which suggests she had previously experienced being hit. Normally a child that is unused to being hit would cry when they are hit,” she explained.
“A child who has not experienced adversity, when something happens; even if it is just their parents having an argument; the child shows distress or becomes a bit aggressive. They show changes in their behaviour when they experience things they are not used to………the powerful way in which Arnella vomited must have been because she was experiencing extreme distress,” she elaborated.
In this interview, she gives her observations of the child abuse complications Arnella is likely to suffer from the incident and also speaks about her work; as a Consultant Child Psychiatrist that treats abused children in the UK; and Uganda; and helps with their recovery.