AFG expands its reach – Sierra Leone and Gambia

When we set our hydrocephalus project into motion, little did we expect to expand the reach of this initiative beyond the borders of Guinea. The need in the country is so great that our goals were entirely local in scope. However, thanks to a partnership with Cure International we have been able to offer our help to children coming from two neighboring countries: Gambia and Sierra Leone.

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The generous team from Cure has not only trained our very own Dr. Souare in the use of a ground breaking shunt-less procedure perfected in their hospital in Uganda but has also been a veritable fount of information and resources in our own efforts to diagnose and treat hydrocephalus. From directing us to local distribution centers and in-kind donors, to providing valuable advice about tried and true methods used in their own centers, they have helped advance our project in ways we could not have foreseen.

Our generous friends came to us in June to ask for our support and we were more than happy to be of assistance. Three very sick children, Sulaiman and Sheik from Sierra Leone, and Sawdatou from Gambia, needed surgery and treatment immediately. With their health rapidly deteriorating, especially in the case of 8-year-old Sulaiman, the journey of over 6,000 miles was simply not an option. The kids and their families were immediately transported to Coyah center and were admitted to the transition home. Sulaiman underwent emergency external shunt surgery to allow him to regain responsiveness. During preliminary tests, it was determined that he not only had hydrocephalus but also a large cerebral tumor. Sawdatou and Sheik, 11 and 10 months old respectively, entered the monthly rotation and underwent shunt placement surgery. They are now recovering well and our doctors are optimistic about their progress. Little Sulaiman, unfortunately, was simply too ill and passed away despite our team’s best efforts.

The kind of heartbreak that this outcome always brings reminds us of the importance of our mission and breathes new life into our labors. As dire as the situation in Guinea is, we have learned that conditions in some of the surrounding countries are even worse. Cure has pledged to continue to refer children from other parts of West Africa to us so that families all over the region can timely receive the help they so desperately need. Together, we want to make sure hydrocephalus does not claim any more lives.

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  • AFG needs your help! We depend on contributions from foundations, companies and individuals to continue our work in Guinea.

    Our primary goal is to assist hospitals and health centers in Guinea who care for the welfare of the Guinean population. We do this by providing medical aid, improving and upgrading existing infrastructure in health facilities and implementing disease prevention and treatment programs.

    We also aim to improve the overall quality of life of the population by supporting and promoting economic growth and technical development.

    You can make a difference!