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How having the right surgical tools saves lives

“I honestly thought he might die from the pain. We felt so hopeless.”

When Maiga Abass arrived at his local hospital, his throat was so badly burned that he couldn’t eat or drink. Maiga, aged just 2, had ingested caustic soda at his home in Youba, Burkina Faso.

The storing of this chemical in old drinking bottles is common in poorer homes in the area as a cost-efficient alternative to soap. Consumed, caustic soda has disastrous effects on the body. Maiga faced the threat of lifelong respiratory issues, gastrointestinal burns, even death.

His parents rushed him to their nearest health centre, who referred them on to the district hospital. Neither facility had the capacity to give Maiga the treatment he desperately needed.

Another referral took the family the Charles De Gaulle Hospital - where KidsOR had installed 3 paediatric Operating Rooms in 2019.

Oesophagus surgery is a complicated procedure. It takes about five paediatric surgeons and lasts about seven to eight hours.

“Only this hospital can handle this surgery as, besides the skillset required by the staff, we are the only hospital with the correct equipment,” said Dr Ouedraogo Francis, a paediatric surgeon at Charles de Gaulle.

Maiga underwent minor surgeries to fit him a gastronomy tube, which is what he now uses for feeding, and is now, slowly, on the mend. The life- saving operation Maiga received was possible thanks to the skill of the local team and the resources provided by KidsOR.

There are so many children, just like Maiga, who our work hasn't reached yet. For them, this means accidents like this, or a fall while playing, could lead to a lifetime of disability, pain, or even death. Help us reach them.

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