Kagera to conduct a clinic for children with excessive fluid in brain, open backs

KAGERA: BUKOBA Regional Referral Hospital (BRRH) will conduct a special free clinic for the treatment of children born with excessive fluid in heads (hydrocephalus) and open backs (spina bifida) next month.

The doctor-in-charge at the BRRH, Dr Nyakiroto Museleta said the special clinic would be conducted by a team of medical experts from the Bugando Medical Centre (BMC) in Mwanza City from April 8-12.

“My appeal is to all parents with children born with unusually large heads (Hydrocephalus) and open backs to utilise the opportunity to bring their children for treatment. The surgeries will be offered free of charge,” he said.

According to him hydrocephalus, also called water on the brain, can permanently damage the brain, causing problems with physical and mental development. If untreated, it is usually fatal.

However, with treatment, many people lead normal lives with few limitations. Expounding, he noted that every year at least 4,000 children are born with unusually large heads but only 100 of them are brought in for surgeries. This means over 3,900 children remain at home without treatment.

According to Dr Museleta, treatment usually involves surgery to insert a shunt. There is an estimated 750,000 children and adults living with hydrocephalus and spina bifida. It is one of the most common developmental disabilities as it affects one in every 500 live births, he said.

There is a significant burden of hydrocephalus in East Africa, with more than 6,000 new cases estimated each year and in the majority, the cause is neonatal infection. It is a condition in which there is an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the cavities (ventricles) of the brain.

The buildup is often caused by an obstruction which prevents proper fluid drainage.

“The fluid buildup can raise intracranial pressure inside the skull which compresses surrounding the brain tissue, possibly causing progressive enlargement of the head, convulsions, and brain damage. Hydrocephalus and spina bifida, separately or in combination, are serious impairments affecting between one and three infants per 1,000 in most parts of the world, often leading to death or severe life-long disabilities,” Dr Museleta said.

Kagera Regional Commissioner (RC) Ms Fatma Mwassa appealed to parents with children born with unusually large heads and open backs to take them to nearby health facilities for early treatment.

She explained that children with disabilities have the potential to perform well in future life if they get the right assistance at early stages.

“Parents with children born with unusual large heads (Hydrocephalus) and open backs should avoid hiding them but instead to take them to nearby health facilities for early treatment,” she said.

Related Articles

Back to top button