Since 10 years, our goal is: Improving the medical care of children at Haydom Hospital in the long term, especially the care, support and aftercare of children with special birth defects. Helping people to help themselves by using local resources and strengthening local infrastructures are indispensable for the long-term success of our work in Tanzania.
We fight to provide every child of Haydom with the vital therapy they need. The local team is in close contact with the families and provides long-term support, particularly in the area of further home care, and ensures that the child achieves important social milestones such as the school attendance. Together with our local partners, we work tirelessly to raise awareness in communities in order to prevent the development of certain malformations and diseases, or to detect them early and start therapy.
Our team includes not only our members here in Germany but also the team of the Haydomer Klinik on site. An interdisciplinary exchange is extremely important for holistic therapy.
We believe it is our duty to focus attention on this disease and educate so that it can be helped quickly and effectively by early detection or avoided by early prevention. Working together with partners worldwide, volunteers and donors we can set a big milestone towards helping children survive that are born with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus.
Our program provides educational work in the surrounding communities to identify children with birth defects at an early stage and to initiate therapy that often begins with a life-saving operation.
The result of hard working together.
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Imagine, how much we helped them.
The Hydrocephalus and Spina Bifida program
Every year 10-15 children per 1000 live births are born with a spina bifida and the number of unreported cases is certainly much higher. This is a missing closure of the spinal cord, in which important nerves are exposed, which often leads to damage with paralysis of the legs and bladder and bowel incontinence.
If left untreated, many of these children often die of infection and meningitis caused by ascending bacteria, or they die of chronic kidney congestion as a result of urination problems. Often a so-called hydrocephalus develops, a disturbance in the drainage of the cerebral water with a consecutive increase in intracranial pressure and an increase in the size of the head, which can lead to blindness and in the worst case to death. Early surgery to close the spinal cord and a shunt to drain excess cerebral fluid can save the lives of children and prevent many late complications.
Just as important as early surgical intervention, however, is good and lifelong aftercare of the children. This requires a whole team, with parents in the first place. Every year the Haydomer Klinik, together with Haydom-Friends e.V. and its supporters Child-Help, CCBRT and the team from Arusha held a one-week parents seminar and catheter training for the operated children. In addition to a thorough examination of the operated children, the focus is on training the parents in continence management and catheterisation, as well as in the daily mobilisation of the often motor-impaired children. In the meantime, more than 80 children are in regular follow-up care. An increasing focus on community care and education of surrounding hospitals is essential for prevention and sustainability.