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Community Efforts Pay Off for Tanzanian Child to Get Lifesaving Surgery at Shriners Hospital in Cincinnati.

CINCINNATI -- It took nearly two years to bring a boy with a burn injury more than 8,000 miles from Tanzania to Shriners Hospitals for Children in Cincinnati for lifesaving surgery.

Four-year-old Asubuhi suffered a severe burn in 2005. His family brought him to a clinic for care following the injury, where he was seen by Christopher Lewis, MD, a family medicine physician and president of Village Life Outreach Project (VLOP), Inc., an organization that assists people of the Tarime District of Tanzania, East Africa.

The VLOP health team returned to Asubuhi's village in October 2006 hoping to find that his wound had healed. Unfortunately, the team was taken aback when Asubuhi was spotted across the room with flies buzzing around the still open wound on his head. "Asubuhi and his family live in a mud hut without running water and the graft never healed - leaving him with an open wound on his scalp," notes Lewis. "He had lost weight and just looked terrible with a wide open scalp wound. We knew he needed urgent medical care that would only be available in the United States."

Traveling with VLOP was Brad Jackson, MD, a pediatrician and president of the Cincinnati Medical Association (CMA), who is familiar with Shriners Hospitals and their work with international patients.

"Once I saw Asubuhi, I knew that without medical care he would probably die. I knew a collaborative effort was needed," noted Dr. Jackson.

Shriners Hospital in Cincinnati was then contacted after the trip to ensure the hospital could provide the medical treatment needed to heal Asubuhi's open wound.

Asubuhi arrived in Cincinnati on Monday, July 2. He'll be evaluated by the burn team at Shriners Hospital, with plans for him to have surgery within the month.

For further information visit on Village Life Outreach, visit www.villagelifeoutreach.org.

Supported entirely by private donations, Shriners Hospitals for Children provides the gift of medical care at no charge to children. Admission is based on age and diagnosis, and any child under 18 is eligible for admission providing the child's condition is within the scope of services provided. For further information call 800-237-5055 or visit www.shrinershq.org.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jul 2, 2007
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