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Jul 20, 2004

Doctors seek help for Spina Bifida

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It may be several months away, but in November Friends of Paediatrics will launch a massive one-week awareness campaign to help children suffering from a rare condition called Spina Bifida. This is a situation in which a child’s spinal cord protrudes from his back as a lump or as Hydrocephalus, also known as water head, which occurs when a child’s head is abnormally large due to the accumulation of fluid. Families are being encouraged to participate in a number of activities that will include a conference and clinic attended by both local and international doctors. According to F.O.P. founder and paediatrician, Dr. Egbert Grinage, the effort is to find out how patients are being managed and what can be done to provide care for them and their families. Grinage says the information will also help medical authorities to know how many Belizeans are suffering from these conditions and formulate a public health prevention plan for women of childbearing age that should reduce sharply the incidence of the disease.

Dr. Egbert Grinage, Founder, F.O.P.

?The reason why it became an idea for us is that late last year a child died who had Spina Bifida due to kidney failure and its something in my practice that I have always tried to prevent and the progression to kidney failure.?

?It?s preventable, it has a public health aspect to it, it is preventable and we are trying to find out how often it occurs in Belize. It is one of the most common neurological birth defects related to the brain and spinal cord.?

?So a lot of specialists will be taking time off from their busy practices to come and help educate us so we can set up our own infrastructure for taking care of these children. We need to get all of these children if possible out of the woodwork and for this we are being helped, towards this end we are being helped by CARE ? Belize.?

So far, forty children have been identified. If you know a child who is suffering from either Spina Bifida or Hydrocephalus and you want that boy or girl to benefit from the upcoming clinic please contact the following F.O.P. representatives as soon as possible. Dr. Egbert Grinage at Universal health Services at telephone number 223-7873 or 610 -2889, Nzinga Barkeley Waite at 227 -1049 or 610-4710. Nurse Elrington at 608 -3851 or Dr. Greg Arana at 227 -6722.


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