Update on little Sawdah

Our favorite Peace Corps volunteer Deborah LaFavre went back to Gambia to visit and brought news back with her.

She had this to say about her stay: “One of the highlights of my trip was getting to meet Sawdah and her entire family! Baba, Sawdah, and Mom had just returned from their follow up doctor’s appointment in Guinea. Baba was bursting to explain everything! He told us all about their travels to Guinea. He explained the surgery and how the implanted shunt works to drain the fluid from her head to her stomach where it leaves the body naturally. He showed me more “before” photos and explained how the fluid used to be in the back of her head and on top. However, all the fluid in the back has drained and only the fluid on the top remains. He had me touch her head to feel the soft, liquidy, spot. He told me how much they learned at the hospital in Guinea. For example, Sawdah is now 18+ months, but because of the weight of her head, she is physically under-developed. She cannot sit up on her own, crawl, and even rolling over is difficult. The staff in Guinea showed Baba and his wife how to exercise Sawdah and move and manipulate her body to keep the muscles from atrophying. As the fluid drains and her body grows, she will eventually be able to do all those things. Since her physical development is delayed, staff emphasizes how important nutrition will be in order for her to “catch up”. Baba had no idea there were so many others in the world affected by this condition. He saw many people worse off than his little girl and sadly, had to comfort some who lost their loved one to hydrocephalus. He is forever changed by this experience. While in Conakry, he stocked up on American Friends of Guinea and hydrocephalus literature and now distributes them in Banjul hospitals and clinics along with his phone number. He has become an advocate for AFG and provides support and hydrocephalus education to any other Gambian who receives the same dire diagnosis and prognosis that he received one year ago.”

We could not be happier to have Baba and his family as our partners in identifying and treating hydrocephalus. Together, and with the help of our supporters, we can make sure no child suffering from hydrocephalus is neglected, not only in Guinea, but in all of West Africa.

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    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.

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