28 March 2017 // IF volunteer from the first hour, Dr. Carla Verpoorten, has been honoured for her dedication to the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus community with the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Spina Bifida Association (SBA) of America. The award was presented to her during SBA's 3rd World Congress on Spina Bifida Research and Care by Dr. Ana Jiménez from Costa Rica. Dr. Carla Verpoorten is a retired neuro-paediatrician who started coordinated care for Spina Bifida at the university hospital of Leuven (Belgium) where she worked for over 30 years. She advised the International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (IF) in its efforts to develop lifelong care for its target group in countries of the Global South.
22 March 2017 // To improve the medical care of children worldwide, an open-access online educational platform has been designed by experienced physicians at Boston Children's Hospital, called OPENPediatrics. The platform offers virtual training, tools for sharing knowledge and communicating with other health professionals, and a library of resources including videos, lectures, device simulators, and protocols. World-class medical expertise is now available to all paediatric health professionals, anywhere, at any time. OPENPediatrics is currently being used in 2,470 hospitals and 145 countries worldwide. By joining the platform, paediatric clinicians around the world can connect with each other, learn from each other and cooperate.
20 March 2017 // For Brain Awareness Week, which took place from March 13th – 19th, IF added its support by providing information on preventing and reducing the risks of developing Hydrocephalus. It is a disability which, if treated properly, isn't always visible. It is also a condition which is surrounded by stigma and misinformation. Parents may be told that their child is brain damaged and will be "a vegetable". Yet with proper treatment, many people with Hydrocephalus will be able to live their lives equal to others. Their brain may be working differently, they may experience specific cognitive issues, but with the right support a solution can be found.