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2023 Feedback from Surgical and Medical Materials Distribution Department

Overview on Luya’s 2023 distribution journey and experiences

Among Child-Help Tanzania’s most prioritized programs is Surgical and Medical materials distribution to Health-care centers and parent-support groups. Luya’s main role is organizing, coordinating, and managing the distribution of these materials.

According to the demand, these materials are distributed to current CHT partners; Dar es Salaam (Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute, Kimara House of Hope), Mwanza (Bugando Medical Centre, Uhuru Hospital, Kitongo House of Hope, Nyegezi House of Hope), Zanzibar (Zanzibar House of Hope, Mnazi Mmoja NED Surgical Institute), Mtwara (St. Benedict Ndanda Referral Hospital), Arusha (Arusha Lutehran Medical Hospital), Manyara (Haydom Lutheran Hospital), and the Coast (Mwandege House of Hope).

“… and shortly after birth, the child has to go through surgery to either close the back or drain excess fluid from the head. Any delay could cause permanent damage. Early treatment and easy accessibility to readily equipped health centers can exponentially increase chances of avoiding permanent damage or even survival in some cases. Working with Child-Help for the past few years, distributing surgical and medical materials to allied parent-support groups and health centers, we have witnessed development from a fair number of positive feedbacks.”

According to Luya’s 2023 annual distribution report, 670 shunts were distributed to partners around Tanzania. The report also includes CIC Kits (catheters, etc. for bladder drainage), Bowel Washout Kits (Enema Bags, Cones), and Oxybutynin capsules distributed to the partners for children who experience incontinence complications.

 

Annual report reveals development on early treatment rates compared to the past, while equally addressing the death rate in most hospitals due to late treatment.

Reports show development on the increasing number of early treatments (patients operated before six months of age) compared to previous years. Some hospitals reported early treatment cases with an overall success of 79%, while most hospitals, unfortunately, range between 25%-30%.

“For example, one of the hospitals that did a follow-up of 700 children with Hydrocephalus and Spina Bifida in 2023, reported 95 deaths (13%) of children that attended the clinic. Among the 95 deaths, 20 children (21%) received early treatment before the age of six months, while 75 children (79%) received late treatment above the age of six months. This report correlates with the issue of early and late treatment…” said Luya.

Luya insisted that with all the health risks that come with late treatment, more effort is needed to make sure atleast 70% of children are operated before six months of age, implicating good results.

Luya’s responsibility beyond Tanzania’s boundaries strengthens CHT and CHI collaboration to reach more people.

Child Help Tanzania (CHT) represents Child Help International (CHI) in Tanzania and acts as a transit distribution center of surgical and medical materials for countries outside of Tanzania. CHT collaborates with CHI and the international beneficiaries to coordinate distrbution to countries in Africa and North America, including Kenya, Uganda, D.R. Congo, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sudan, Ivory Coast, Bahamas, Venezuela, Guinea, Somaliland, Mali, Burundi and Ghana.

According to the 2023 Annual Distribution Report, statistics show that out of 4648 shunts (surgical materials) that have been distributed to 14 countries, 14.4% of these surgical materials have been distributed nationally in Tanzania, a percentile which reflects on the increasing demand and severity of emerging cases. Reports also indicate an increment of shunt distribution by 6% compared to 2022 where 4358 shunts were distributed to 11 countries only.