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Kisumu marks spina bifida hydrocephalus day to raise awareness

Various stakeholders in Kisumu County participated in the 10th World Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus day to help increase public awareness about the condition, which is common in babies.

The stakeholders joined the residents in marking the day at Joyland Special Primary School to drum up the public sensitization drive on the conditions of Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus and methods of prevention of the condition.

Hydrocephalus is a condition in which fluids accumulate in the brain while Spina Bifida is a birth defect in which a developing baby’s spinal cord fails to develop properly. However, one can have hydrocephalus but not have Spina Bifida, and vice versa. However, children with Spina Bifida are more likely to get hydrocephalus.

According to Linda Achieng, a nurse at the facility says young mothers need to be sensitized on the importance of visiting the hospital frequently during pre and post-conception and following the doctor’s instructions to prevent and detect such conditions.

“We are engaging young women and mothers through support groups and the community to sensitize them on early interventions and preventions of these conditions, and we request the community to help spread the information and respond in case they spot a child with the disorder in the community,” said Achieng.

Health facilities are also encouraged to participate in providing more information for the public in order to understand the preventive measure and how to deal with children with this disorder.

In attendance were community health workers and caregivers who narrated their grueling ordeal in bringing up children suffering from this condition. They pleaded with the County Government of Kisumu to help economically empower the caregivers.

Trezor Auma, a caregiver to a child living with this condition requested the county government to provide them with assistive devices such as wheelchairs, catheters and pampers for waste since the children have no control over their lower bodies.

“I have to use up to five pampers in a day and a catheter which is expensive and must be changed frequently lest they develop kidney problems which are always fatal and can lead to death,” said Auma.

Despite the celebration, access to services for families of children living with this condition is a challenge due to their financial capability.

Young women and mothers are encouraged to visit the hospitals for regular checkups especially during pre and post-conception since hydrocephalus and Spina bifida can be prevented.

By Fleiss Akoko and Tonia Kazera

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