In Ethiopia each year, nearly 2,500 children are born with hydrocephalus or ‘water on the brain.’ It is a condition that can be resolved through a relatively simple surgical procedure. If diagnosed and treated early enough, the baby can expect to live a normal life; if not, severe mental retardation or death will occur. The ReachAnother Foundation helps with surgery (at an estimated cost of $150 per child) to allow them to grow into contributing members of their communities. By the end of 2015, RAF will have facilitated more than 600 surgical procedures on hydrocephalic babies.
“At the present time there are only six Ethiopian neurosurgeons to serve the country’s 90 million people,” said Marinus Koning, MD, FACS, RAF Founder and Medical Director. “Until a couple of years ago all babies with hydrocephalus died. RAF’s initiatives to help train additional neurosurgeons and facilitate the treatment will help make these babies a surgical priority, and over the next five years more than 5,000 babies could be saved,” he added.
Guided by a strong belief that healthcare is a fundamental human right for all peoples of the world, RAF was founded in 2009 by Dr. Koning and is headquartered in Bend, Oregon.