Established in 2011, the Haydom Friends Foundation provides medical care for children with Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus at the Haydom Lutheran Hospital in Tanzania. Built in the 1960s, the hospital now has a 400 bed capacity and treats up to 2000 inpatients annually. The medical care for the youngest patients is severely limited due to limited resources and a lack of specialized medical staff.
In 2009, Haydom Friends founder Dr. Theresa Harbauer came to Tanzania for the first time, as part of a two-year clinical residency at Haydom Hospital. At the children’s ward she worked closely with the nursing staff, and it quickly became apparent that improved medical care as well as effective follow-up was necessary to ensure the children's survival.
Together with the local nurses, Dr. Harbauer created a program focussed on four cornerstones that are essential to effective medical care: provide continuous training to the pediatric staff; improve the hospital's infrastructure and medical equipment; provide regular medical follow-up and pediatric aftercare to the young patients; and importantly, offer fully-funded learning opportunities for parents of affected children, where they gain crucial skills in continence management.
Since 2013, the Haydom Friends Foundation has organized and sponsored bi-annual Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Parents Seminars at Haydom Hospital. The program started with eight families in its inaugural year. As of 2020 it has grown to support over 80 families. The number of admitted patients is steadily rising as community awareness about treatment options grows. Haydom Friends is now actively engaged in the project to expand Haydom's capacity by building a House of Hope that will be dedicated to aftercare and mobility training.
First Trip to Haydom
Equipment for Africa
The Container Arrives
First Parent Seminar
Crisis Situation in Haydom
Expansion of the Program
Help For Emanuel Sebastiano
Hydrocephalus Clinic and Parents Seminar
ISMS Mission to Mchukwi
Child-Help Partners with Haydom Friends
Continence and aftercare week
Course in cranial ultrasound
Wheelchairs for children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus
Training week for parents and their children
World Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Day
One team, one dream, a world record