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Lack of early treatment encouraging Spina Bifida and hydrocephalus conditions in Uganda

State Minister for Primary Health Care Hon. Dr. Moriku Joyce Kaducu said that out of every 1000 births, 3-5 children are born with hydrocephalus condition. (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA– “Families do not seek needed treatment because of perceptions and stigma around the conditions and concerns of high cost of investigations, Neurosurgies, and long-term rehabilitation,” Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu said while addressing a press conference Tuesday at the Health Ministry’s headquarters.

According to the Ministry of Health, there are about 70% chances that if a mother does not take folic acid, they will produce a child with spina Bifida.

Out of every 1000 births, 3-5 children are born with hydrocephalus condition and Spina Bifida is about over 10000 cases per year.

Spina Bifida is one of the most common birth defects and occurs within the first 28 days after conception during the formation of the neural tube.

It’s estimated that 70% of the Spina Bifida is due to folic acid deficiency.

Northern regions tops with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, statistics indicate that over 1500 cases of children are currently at Gulu Rehabilitation Centre.

Caring and treatment for these conditions is costly.

For an operation,  one has to part with  Shs 950 in public hospitals while in Private hospitals, the bill is hiked to Shs 2m.

Dr Kaducu said for the last three years Uganda has joined the rest of the World in commemorating the International Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Day.

The day reminds the public and policymakers about the reality of Spina Bifida and hydrocephalus and continuous advances in medicines, health care, and preventive measures.

Recent statistics indicate that about 12.4% of the 34m people in Uganda are persons with disabilities, causes of which include Road accidents, Domestic and Gender-based Violence; Acid attacks; Alcoholism, smoking, and drug abuse; Non-Communicable Disease and Malnutrition including micronutrient deficiencies.

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