The Rotary Club of Muyenga Breeze in partnership with Orient Bank and Cure Children’s Hospital of Uganda, a specialized charity non-for profit pediatric neuro surgery hospital, have successfully concluded a week long neuro-surgical camp, which saw over 30 disadvantaged children suffering from hydrocephalus and spina bifida receive free.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the neuro-surgical week at Cure Hospital in Mbale, Mr. Tim Ericson, the Executive Director, Cure Children’s’ Hospital of Uganda revealed that the hospital receives 110-120 patients per month, having successfully worked on 1300 surgeries in 2018.
“We specialize in brain abnormalities for children and every month, we are doing about 110-120 surgeries per month and last year we did over 1300. To help children who are born with this condition of water in the brain, aka hydrocephalus or spina bifida where the spinal colon doesn’t close all the way and other conditions like brain tumors that are life threatening.
Thankfully, awareness events like this Rotary neuro-surgical week which is in its second year running at the hospital, have helped raise awareness and resources to help sponsor more children to have surgery.”
He further noted that awareness programs can go a long way in controlling the number of affected children through early prevention and maternity care initiatives.
“The hope is that more children will come to us faster for early intervention because the faster you’re treated of the brain condition, the better the outcome will be. We’ve been here for 18 years but over the years the average age of treatment has reduced to the first few months of life.
Many of the conditions, if not treated early, will lead to death. There are about 5000-7000 new cases per year diagnosed with spina bifida or hydrocephalus. If we are treating only 1300 per year, this means many children are going untreated and dying every year.
Ongoing research indicates there’s a link between the deficiency of folic acid and spina bifida. So at Cure Children’s’ Hospital, we give every mother free folic acid. It takes a comprehensive effort such as creating awareness, early detection of infections such as Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) which can contribute to these conditions.”
Hydrocephalus, a condition in which an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid occurs within the brain affects 1 to 2 children in every a thousand births while spina bifida affects 0.1 to 5 children per a thousand live births globally.
Speaking at the same event, Rosette Baroraho, President of Rotary Club of Muyenga Breeze urged corporate companies and individuals to support cure children’s’ hospital of Uganda in order for it to continue delivering the much needed services at a subsidized price, while continuing to save lives of many children.
“This week, together with cure children’s’ hospital, we have operated on 30 patients and all of them have been successful. Rotary sources for these funds from members, corporate companies, individuals and partners among other sources and I want to thank all our partners that have contributed to making this happen.
This year we collected shs20 million, which we have handed over to the hospital to help manage the activities,” said Baroraho.
Speaking on behalf of the sponsors, Orient Bank’s Manager for Corporate Communications, Emmanuel Njuki noted as part of community investments, the Bank prioritizes in supporting health programs among others.
“As part of our community investments, one of the areas we support is health and because we do business in Mbale as well and cannot divorce ourselves from the communities in which we operate; that’s where we come from, where our staff come from, where our customers come from.
So for us, it’s a way of making a life here and making our business life sustainable. As a bank, while looking for solutions to the challenges in our communities, we came up with a very affordable health and life insurance product in partnership with IAA and Prudential accessible in several parts of the country. We hope that this goes a long way in easing the cost of and access to medical treatment.”
Treatment of neuro-surgical conditions in India costs up to shs50m compared to the average cost at Cure Childrens’ Hospital which is a total of shs5.5 million of which parents are only asked to contribute shs950, 000 toward the treatment.
The Rotary Cure Childrens’ Hospital neuro-surgical week was sponsored by Orient Bank, NIC, MediLink, Rayo Holdings Limited, Letshego, Cipla, UMEME, Trandcom investments and Jump for Joy.