Most children in Ethiopia do not have access to complex pediatric surgery and thus live with their disability or die from it. This project will allow them to be operated by trained pediatric surgeons and be restored to a meaningful and productive life.
Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries globally by GNP/capita, and specialized health care is severely limited by access to care, limited resources available, and few specialist physicians. In pediatric surgery, care is limited to Addis Ababa, and while some is available in the main government hospital, multiple issues limit the number of children who can be seen there. On the other side, MyungSung Christian Medical Center (MCM) is a well-resourced charity hospital able to provide this specialized care. Pediatric surgical care is offered at MCM by BethanyKids, who has trained an Ethiopian pediatric surgeon who provides these surgeries at no added cost. The only limiting factor is the basic cost of these surgeries, covering hospital care costs, and paying for supplies and medication.
The average cost of a pediatric surgical procedure, including the entire hospital stay, is $500. BethanyKids has provided approximately 200 such procedures yearly, leading to hundreds of transformed lives. Unfortunately, financial difficulties in 2015 have forced the organization to adopt cost-cutting measures, such as drastic salary cuts (including a voluntary 57% pay cut by the CEO!) and a 40% cut in funding for surgeries. This means that 80 such children will not be able to have their life-saving surgeries this year!
Stories of hope
Abezash is an 8-month old baby girl born with an anorectal anomaly (no anus). A previous surgery was done but she was left with a colostomy (bowel outside). She had a succesful surgery and returned to her home as a normal child.
The family lives in Hawasa area, 200 km from Addis Ababa. They have 4 children to feed. The father is a subsistence farmer with a very small garden. They expressed their thankfulness for having the surgery done so that their baby can be finally normal.
Canab was born with bladder exstrophy – a severe condition in which the urinary bladder is completely open to the skin from birth, and thus the child is completely incontinent of urine. Young Canab despite her age has never attended school because of of the constant smell of urine. She was also shunned by peers and ridiculed for the smell.
The family lives in Mogadishu, Somalia. The father heard of a Kenyan health care worker in Mogadishu. This person contacted us asking if we could provide the surgery in Ethiopia. The parents are very poor and the little funds they had were spent on the transport from Mogadishu to Addis Ababa. They arrived without any funds even for food, thus we provided them here stay in a cheap room and some funds for food, until the operation was done.
Canab had a successful surgery to correct her problem, and she is now dry from urine. The family was extremely thankful and they were able to return to Somalia.
The project will provide healing and health to children with surgical problems. Each child operated on will get a new lease on life, being able to be integrated in society, to attend school and receive education, and have a meaningful life. Each child can impact a community, thus hundreds of communities across Ethiopia will be positively impacted through the children being operated.
MyungSung Christian Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
$40,000 to continue to offer life-saving surgery through 2015 to all children who come to MCM with surgical problems.
- $25 – covers half the cost of medication during one admission for one child
- $50 – covers the cost of medication during one admission for one child
- $100 – covers the cost of the hospital stay during one admission for one child
- $300 – covers the operating room cost of a life-giving surgery
- $500 – covers the full cost of providing a life-saving surgery
If you are interested in supporting this work, visit our site at Global Giving: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/pediatric-surgery-ethiopia/