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Posts Tagged ‘premature twins’

We had a very informative session over at the Neonatal ward and Cancer ward in Cipto today. Barbara and her daughter, Thordis from Die Brucke kindly joined us for the visit.

At the Neonatal ward, we met five new patients. Ibu Inge who showed us around mentioned there were currently fifty babies in the ward getting treatment and luckily not as busy as two weeks ago when we had visited. A pair of female twins recently admitted were thirty weeks premature. Both babies don’t have a name yet and are temporarily named after their mother’s name. Baby Nella 1 is doing fine but baby Nella 2 had difficulty in breathing and has undergone surgery about a week ago. They weigh 1,500 grams each and are slowly recovering.

Baby Nella 1

Baby Nella 2

Baby Rahmawati (also temporarily named after the mother) is diagnosed with Gastroschisis. Only twelve days old, her current condition is not good and cannot be operated until she is more stable. We hope she stays strong and well.

Baby Yulianti (also temporarily named after the mother) is suffering from Hydrocephalus. He has been operated for brain drainage to get rid of the liquid. Already admitted for one month in hospital and so far is doing good. When his condition is stable then his parents can take him home.

Baby Yulianti

We were sad to learn that there was an unclaimed baby who is only fifteen days old. The parents of Baby Ahma cannot be located and doctors have tried contacting them by telephone and had no success. With the help of the nurses, we will try to find the address of the family and see if we can do a house call. We hope there can be some clarification to whether the parents still want the child and if not then baby Ahma can be happily sent to an orphanage. Originally diagnosed with a blood infection, she is now fit and healthy and absolutely gorgeous looking.

Baby Ahma

Thordis couldn’t resist giving a cuddle to baby Parin who we mentioned in our last visit.

Barbara and daughter, Thordis cudling Baby Parin

Over at the Cancer ward, we met Ana who is two years old and the youngest child out of two in the family. She is undergoing treatment for kidney cancer and is receiving Fosfamide chemotherapy. Already she has had one cycle of treatment and showed some good signs of improvement but her malnutrition was not improving. Ana will need one more cycle of chemo before she can be evaluated if they can do a CT Scan on her. We were told by the doctors that a CT scan is very expensive approx. IDR 2.5 million. We hope to be able to support Ana in any such way.

Ana and her mother

Lastly we met Rendi who is all the way from Kalimantan. He is five years old and was not shy at all to chit chat with us. Happily nibbling on some candy and smiling away, he is diagnosed with Lymphoma and is at stage four of the cancer. One week of chemo treatment has already been received but there is another four more weeks of chemotherapy to come. His parents are here for three months to give Rendi love and support. We send our loving wishes too!

Rendi happily showing us his candy

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Dharmais hospital children’s cancer ward

Between June and December, 2009, MCK provided financial assistance to cover costs of thirty children, aged between eighteen months and sixteen years old, undergoing treatment for cancer.

One of them was eight year old Yansen, one of three children whose father works as a day labourer and whose mother is currently pregnant with her fourth child. Yansen has Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and, while he was undergoing chemotherapy, his condition called for an urgent blood transfusion which was ineligible for cover by the government insurance scheme, for which MCK therefore paid.

Although the existence of government insurance schemes targeting low-income families mean that much of MCKs assistance takes the form of one-off payments for costs that are not covered, this is not always the case. For example, in September MCK was requested to contribute to the cost 13 year old Fahri’s treatment for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML). After originally being treated in 2006-2007, when we had previously also provided assistance, Fahri had relapsed and so was requiring four weeks of chemotherapy. As a teacher, Fahri’s father was eligible to have some of his son’s treatment costs covered, but not all, so MCK helped to cover the shortfall.

Children’s cancer ward, Cipto hospital

During the second half of 2009, MCK provided financial assistance for treatment not covered by government insurance schemes for 60 children aged between 2 months and 16 years old.  In response to a special request from the doctors, in November, we also paid for the purchase for the ward of IV fluid, tubes and needles, as well as a small fridge for storing medicines.

Neonatal unit, Cipto hospital

The neonatal care unit is part of the perinatal unit, which in turn is connected to the maternity ward. The perinatal unit at Cipto hospital is the largest government perinatal unit in the country. It has capacity for 54 babies, divided into four units: the neonatal intensive care unit, the special care nursery, a transitional unit with four beds, and the Kangaroo Mother Care unit. The vast majority of families whose babies are treated in the perinatal unit at Cipto come from poor backgrounds and most are eligible to get the costs of treatment covered by one of the government insurance schemes designed to assist them. However some costs, such as blood cultures, are not covered by these schemes, and these are costs that MCK is often asked to cover. Likewise, the government scheme does not cover any costs incurred prior to the family being approved for insurance. Given the time lag that elapses between babies being admitted to the ward and the family completing the necessary administrative process (which itself incurs costs and so can also be a bar to their doing so), there are inevitably costs incurred before the scheme is in place. These can cause considerable economic hardship and, in some cases, can cause parents to take their babies home untreated rather than go into chronic debt. It is these costs that MCK is in principle ready to pay.

Altogether, during the second half of 2009, MCK assisted 139 babies, from new born through to 4 months old, to receive the care and treatment they needed.

At the beginning of February, MCK provided support to cover the treatment costs of premature twins, a boy and a girl, who had been born prematurely at just 37 weeks and weighing only 1.2 and 1.1 kilograms respectively. Both needed intensive treatment as a result of their premature births but, although eligible for one form of government insurance cover, this would only cover 50% of costs. The babies’ parents, a parking attendant and a housewife, had no way of paying the remainder and so elected to take one of the twins home with them. Sadly, one of the twins did not survive, though the other one has returned home.

Infectious ward, Cipto hospital

As with the other wards where MCK offers assistance, most children in the infectious ward come from underprivileged families and are therefore eligible for cover by one of the government insurance schemes. However, there are often certain costs which are not covered by these schemes for which the families then become responsible.  Although generally modest sums, they can create considerable hardship for parents who live on or below the poverty line, so MCK is often asked to pay them in order to reduce the families’ financial burden. Between June and December 2009, MCK contributed towards treatment costs of a total of 114 children treated in the infectious ward, aged between just over one month and 14 years old.

While the payments made by MCK on behalf of the children in this ward in general are modest, there are exceptions. One recent example of this is nine year old third grade student, Anjas, the fourth of fifth children, whose father is a rice seller. Anjas was admitted at the end of September suffering from prolonged severe headache, nausea and fever. Following a scan, he was found to have epidural empyema and needed a craniotomy to remove an abscess inside his skull.  The operation needed to be undertaken urgently but because the process of registering Anjas with one of the government’s insurance schemes was not yet complete the family, which had already had to bear the initial hospital costs, would have been liable to pay for it. Because the family lacked the necessary funds to do so, the operation was therefore postponed, which was when doctors contacted MCK to ask for assistance. We made a special request to one of our sponsors who generously provided the necessary funds to enable the operation to go ahead. The operation was a success and, nine days later, Anjas’ symptoms had disappeared and he was able to go home.

Anjas before the operation (left) and after the operation (right)

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