IF visit to Rwanda

On his first visit to Rwanda president Pierre Mertens visited a small hospital in Gikonko in the South of the country. The hospital treats many children with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. Dr. Uta Düll is a very motivated and enthusiastic German surgeon, who has already operated over 100 children with Spina Bifida and/or Hydrocephalus. This year she will probably reach 60 children with SB/H. She is keen to invest in complete care for our children and asks for training in continence management. The president also met with the Minister of Health, Dr. Richard Sezibera. Dr. Sezibera assured him that Rwanda is developing a Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus programme for the country. The programme will include measures for primary prevention, such as fortification of staple food, appropriate surgery, and follow-up care. He referred IF to the neurosurgeon Dr. Emmanuel Nkusi of the King Faisal Hospital in Kigali, who will contribute to this national plan. Both the Minister of Health and Dr. Nkusi support the establishment of a Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus self-help group.
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German surgeon Dr. Uta Düll is dedicated to improving the lives of children with Spina Bifida and/or Hydrocephalus in Rwanda

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First Workshop on Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus in Ugandan Parliament

IF Child Help, IF and partners (AVSI, CURE, Katalemwa and Ours) were invited by the Ugandan Parliamentary Forum for Children (UPFC) to raise awareness on Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus and its consequences for Ugandan society. This workshop was the first of its kind and was attended by over 50 members of parliament and the Minister for the Elderly and the Disabled, Hon. Madada. IF Secretary General Lieven Bauwens discussed the importance of good care, prevention and international policy. Mr. Derek Johnson presented the Cure Children's Hospital of Uganda as a prime example and Dr. William Ssali gave an update on the status of fortification in Uganda. The UPFC will forward some of the conclusions of the workshop in the strategy plan for the next Ugandan Parliament.
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Ugandan Minister for the Elderly and the Disabled, Hon. Madada

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Successful ARSBH annual conference in Bucharest, Romania

The Romanian Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (ARSBH) held its annual conference on 15-16 October, 2010 in Bucharest. Professional experts from various EU countries lectured on the treatment and follow-up care of Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. The aim of the conference was to minimise the effects of these conditions and to improve the quality of live of people with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. The conference also focussed on the importance of inclusion of people with disabilities in the Romanian society. Jan Jarab, Regional Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights gave an opening speech. Other speakers were IF board member Luís Quaresma from Portugal (ASBIHP) and representatives from IF's member association in Ireland (SBHI), including their CEO George Kennedy and chairman Fiach McDonagh. A selection of photographs from the ARSBH annual meeting can be seen here.

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ASBAH's medical advisor Carole Sobkowiak presented a lecture on Hydrocephalus: Physical and Language Development

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