Pediatric trauma an important public health problem worldwide: National Library of Medicine – SABC News
Pediatric trauma has emerged around the world as a major public health concern. About 1.7 billion children and adolescents, mainly in low and middle-income countries, do not have access to surgical care. This is according to the National Library of Medicine, which further alludes to the fact that there is limited data on the available pediatric surgical staff in South Africa.
A non-profit organization that aims to provide medical care for children has recognized this challenge and is traveling through five provinces to raise donations that enable free surgeries for children.
Pediatric Care Africa is an organization founded five years ago to provide free medical treatment and care for children. Dr. Andre Hattingh, a retired physician, is the founder of the organization.
My name is Dr. Andre Hattingh. I am a retired doctor, I retired in 2017; I no longer practice medicine, especially to found Pediatric Africa. It is a South African registered non-profit organization; we are also registered in the Netherlands. The goal of Pediatric Care Africa is to care for children in need of medical treatment and surgery from the age of zero to 18 years; that’s why we classify it as pediatrics, ”says Dr. Hattingh.
Dr. Hattingh rides a tractor through five provinces soliciting donations for free surgeries for children in need.
“We are working on a campaign called On Tractor. You can see that we drive a tractor, the distance is 2500km and we do that for five provinces. We started in Mpumalanga and then in Limpopo; now we are in the northwest. Operations and medical treatment have become very expensive and the money is enormous. I now drive for three children; one child is seven years old. His tongue is glued, in fact, glued to his mouth. The other child was in an accident, he was run over by a car; for that he needs two surgeries. The other child was born without a palate. She is now 16 or 17 years old. “
The NGO helps children with a poor background. Dr. Hattingh says the coronavirus pandemic has also taken its toll on them.
“Last year was of course a difficult year; not just for us but for everyone else. Last year we managed to help 320 children who needed medical treatment or who needed to see a doctor or specialist. The criterion for qualifying for help from us is first of all that the mother and father must be unemployed and, of course, not have medical assistance. We rely solely on the good will of the people of South Africa. “
Dr. Hattingh will depart on Friday from the northwest, bound for the Free State.