Pediatric Hydrocephalus is the build up of Cerebral Spinal Fluid that surrounds the brain that puts an increased amount of pressure on the head. This can be a very dangerous condition if not treated properly. Hydrocephalus causes the baby to grow a head unnaturally large in comparison to the body. So large, that the baby or infant can’t hold their head up by themselves.
In the United States, 1 in every 500 baby delivered is diagnosed with Hydrocephalus. Fortunately, there are more than 3,500 neurologists in the United States to help cure the patient affected. In Sub-Saharan Africa, there are about 100,000-375,000 NEW cases of Pediatric Hydrocephalus every year and more than 4,000 every month. In addition there are only four doctors that have the ability to help with this disease. Additionally, there is only one hospital in that entire area that patients can go to. The hospital isn’t close to most villages. Families affected must save up all of their farming money for 6-7 months just to get transportation to the hospital. So by the time families come back home, they are usually always bankrupt.The scary reality and truth to this entire issue is that even 90% of the infants and babies affected by Hydrocephalus die...sometimes even with treatment. The mortality statistic is horrid. The infants affected die for a few reasons. One, because there aren't enough doctors, there aren't doctors to follow up on the procedure on the baby incase something goes wrong. Second, lack of money cause a lack of transportation to hospitals to get the proper help necessary. Third, there are some families who are tricked into believing that hydrocephalus is not a disease. They have elders in their neighborhood who trick them into paying them more than hospital costs to them "to take the devil out" of the child.
What these people need is support from people like us in America who have so much to give. We need people oversees helping out. Doctors to help on the medical standpoint. Volunteers for the short distance transportation. Most importantly, teachers and educators to really educate people of the affected areas in Africa that this is a killer disease that happens all around the world and not in their local village. They need a helping hand and through this project I am determined to do so.
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Read Blog 2 & Blog 3 as well!
Bibliography if needed.