Helping change children's lives

08 APR 2011: Two children with hydrocephalus (swelling on the brain) were today flown to hospital in Madagascar’s capital Antananarivo to receive life-changing treatment.

Children with hydrocephalus have enlarged heads due to the build up of fluid inside the skull which leads to a swelling of the brain.

These two children were among five with oversized heads who Dr Fernand and a medical team saw as part of the monthly medical flights which MAF operates into remote communities in Madagascar.

There are only two hospitals on the island which can treat this kind of disease. Having seen these suffering children, Dr Fernand asked around for possibilities to bring these children to Antananarivo. Today our team flew to Anjabetrongo to collect two of the children.

Suffering children

One, a girl aged four, had been suffering since birth. When she was born she was very calm, showing no reaction and she didn’t cry. Normally hydrocephalus is discovered at about eight months, but sometimes only at a later stage, depending on growth speed.

A head of a four year old child would probably weigh less than 1kg, but this girl’s head was estimated at around 2.5kg. The girl is mentally disabled. The medical treatment, which will take a week, will reduce the pressure inside the head, and thus the size and weight. This will help the little girl as she will be able to hold her head on her own.

The other patient was a little two year old boy. Dr Fernand is very confident that he will recover well and should be able to work for himself at a later stage.

Often families with a child with hydrocephalus feel ashamed and will hide their child from society. Having a normal-sized head again will remove the shame from the family and the child will not be hidden away.

Please pray

Please pray with us that the healing of these children will go well and that the help offered by so many would be a strong testimony to the people of Anjabetrongo.

Father with child Suffering children Mother and child arrive by plane

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