A series of projects funded by a sizeable grant from South Australian energy company Beach Energy is being rolled out by CAPDA in northern Tanzania. The grant has already been used to provide advanced training for two paediatricians and three nurses in surgical procedures to help children with spina bifida.
Children born with this condition often suffer from hydrocephalus, and, if left untreated, this leads to a build-up of fluid and pressure on the brain. Hydrocephalus can cause permanent brain damage and loss of function, and in extreme cases the head can become so large the person cannot hold it up.
A simple shunt can be inserted to drain the fluid and relieve pressure on the brain. Sadly, in developing countries many children still die of hydrocephalus and on the operating table. During the training, procedures were carried out to treat eight children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, all of them successful!
The inaugural Beach Energy Scholarship was awarded to Albert Chaki (above), an occupational Therapist from Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation Tanzania (CCBRT).
Albert has impressed us over the years with his skill and dedication, and we are delighted to support his further studies in Community Development. Future projects led by Albert will support children with disabilities by improving nutrition, reducing family poverty and social stigma.
The Beach Energy grant will also be used to purchase wheelchairs, design seating solutions and support 9 of CCBRT’s live-in week-long intensive therapy and training workshops in 2013. Each workshop allows 25 children and their carers from rural villages to receive assessment, treatment and information from a range of health professionals.