Month: October 2022

International Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Day

Haydom Hospital in Tansania is marching for kids with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus on October 25th to celebrate International Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Day. Still every year hundreds of children get born with this birth defect, many of them die because education and medical Service are missing. Haydom-friends e.V is supporting medical service, life long follow up and awareness for prevention and early treatment.

New baby sleeping bags for premature infant unit

Hypothermia is still one of the leading causes of death for premature babies even in tropically warm Africa.

Because premature babies do not have sufficient compensatory mechanisms and cannot maintain their own body temperature, they often lose weight along with their temperature and suffer fatal infections. In the western world, incubators provide a sufficiently moist and warm environment in which premature babies can thrive. In countries such as Tanzania, the lack of technical possibilities often leads to the use of dangerous methods such as hot water filled gloves or hot water bottles, which often leak and lead to dangerous scalding of the sensitive skin of the premature babies. New and innovative solutions for temperature management of premature babies are urgently needed.

Haydom-Friends e.V. was able to take action here with the support of its donors and introduced the first non-electric and reusable warming sleeping bag – the Warmilu. Using an activatable heat pad, similar to the winter hand warmers we all know here, a gel in the heat pack is chemically activated by clicking a small metal plate and heats up to a temperature of 40 °C . In a special sewn-in compartment in the sleeping bag, it thus leads to a stable heat of 34 °C inside the sleeping bag over 8 hours, which is similar to the temperature in an incubator. By boiling the heat pack in hot water for 1 hour, it can be made reusable and reused over 100 times. No leakage, no burning and a power free low cost alternative to the western high tech incubator.

Haydom-Friends e.V. was able to finance 8 baby sleeping bags at first, we are urgently looking for further financial support to purchase more sleeping bags and especially more heat packs. Together we want to make the care of the smallest premature babies safer and better. With the new Warmilus, the survival rate of premature and newborn babies should be significantly increased, for this we need your help for a safe neonatal start into a safe and warm life.

Skill Training Haydom Hospital

The first few minutes after the birth of an infant or premature baby can be as life-threatening as life-changing.

Dr Theresa teaches a team of doctors and nurses of the premature unit and obstetrics  life-saving first aid procedures.

Together, they simulate scenarios of various birth complications and practice resuscitation and ventilation of a newborn in the event of an emergency. The team also learns how to establish safe intravenous access via the umbilical vessels, for which they train on real umbilical cords.

Everyone had great fun and achieved maximum success, so they are prepared for emergencies.


A new pediatric bronchoscope for Haydom Hospital

Foreign body aspiration is unfortunately still one of the greatest dangers and silent killers of children in the first two years of life. A peanut or a piece of corn that, once placed in the mouth, enters the deep respiratory tract, not seldom results in the slow choking of infants, who often do not yet have sufficient coughing stimulus to expectorate this foreign body. A valve mechanism often results in inhaled air not being able to escape. The lungs overinflate and small alveoli rupture and burst, causing dangerous air accumulation in the chest.

Such foreign body aspiration is an absolute emergency. Until now, Haydom did not have child-sized and small instruments that could be safely inserted into the airways of young children without causing injury. The children often had to be riskily bronchoscoped either with adult instruments or transported many hundreds of kilometers often without oxygen supply to the hospital in Arusha 350 km away. Most of them did not survive this transport.

Haydom Friends e.V. has therefore handed over a children’s bronchoscope with a special optic, financed by donations, to the Haydom surgical team. With a special optic, the surgeon can project the image onto a large monitor, which makes it easier to find the foreign body in the often very narrow airways, and with a special optical gripper, the foreign body can then be retrieved under good visibility. After the new pediatric bronchoscope was handed over, it was immediately put into operation and the OR staff was trained in its use. In the future, hopefully no child will have to die from foreign body aspiration.

Many thanks to all supporters and especially to the company Storz, which supported this investment significantly.