In the African country of Tanzania, healthcare is not a widespread resource. In fact, 70% of its population live in rural areas with little to no access to healthcare. For those who have the ability to travel to the nearest medical facility – and also can afford to pay for services – getting access to the doctor that you need can still prove difficult, as there are only .02 physicians per 1,000 people in Tanzania.
To help meet this need, MAP partners with a medical teams who travel to Tanzania each year to provide free surgical care for children while also training Tanzanian doctors toward medical sufficiency in their own communities. During a recent ENT trip, one of MAP's partners crossed paths with little one-year-old Grace.
Grace's mother had come seeking help because her daughter's breathing was noisy and congested – and her mother’s intuition told her something was wrong.
When the medical team examined baby Grace, they diagnosed her with allergies and laryngomalacia, a condition that occurs when a baby’s voice box is soft and floppy. With this condition, each time Grace took a breath, part of her larynx above the vocal cords was falling inward and temporarily blocking her airway. For most babies, this condition resolves by the age of one, but for Grace, her condition required surgery to correct.
Thankfully, MAP's parter knew they would have an ample supply of sutures with them to perform the surgery, thanks to generosity of MAP donors.
The medical team performed the surgery on little Grace, and her operation was successful. Her mother was so grateful that her little girl could finally breathe well!
In addition to Grace’s surgery, the medical team MAP partners with provided 24 additional children with free ENT surgery.
“All procedures were successful with zero complications,” said Jeffrey Schare, Operations Specialist. “Thank you for your help! We would love to continue our partnership for future Mending Kids missions!”