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Ternopil State Medical University scholars took part in seminar on kidney health of children with spina bifida

Head of TSMU Department of Children’s Diseases and Pediatric Surgery, Professor Oksana Boyarchuk and assistant professor Kateryna Hlushko took part in an informational day on kidney health and treatment of children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. Our researchers attended the event, which took place April 21, 2018 in Antwerp, Belgium, at the invitation of director of the international organization Child-Help International Pierre Mertens and with assistance of chairman of the NGO Siaivo Dukha (Shining Spirit) Mariana Koshmaniuk.

The information day was held under the aegis of the international medical and charity organizations Child-Help International and International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus.

Representatives from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Slovakia and Ukraine participated in the seminar.

Presentations at the seminar centered on the current issues of preserving kidneys function, modern directions of treatment of the neurogenic bladder and defecation delays in children with spina bifida.

This program has been implemented and running for more than 10 years in most European and American countries. Ukraine is taking the first steps in this direction. Two years ago, Pierre Mertens had visited Ternopil, in particular the Ternopil Regional Children’s Clinical Hospital, where he gave a training workshop.

In his presentation at the seminar, Pierre Mertens emphasized the importance of implementing the kidney preservation program to improve the quality of life of children and adults with spina bifida and hydrocephalus.

Pierre Mertens, director of Child-Help International.

Carla Verpoorten, a Child-Help International expert, gave a talk speech titled Neurogenic Bladder Dysfunction: Treatment and Prevention of Complications.

Child-Help International expert Carla Verpoorten.

Among the questions discussed were the mechanisms of development and criteria for diagnosis of neurogenic bladder, modern methods of treatment, prevention of complications and improvement of quality of life, including the use of prolonged intermittent catheterization either by parents or children on their own.

Myleen Christiaens, Child-Help International’s Nurse, presented a method for teaching parents and their children to carry out catheterization of the bladder and evacuation of the intestines.

Theresa Harbauer discussed features of the ultrasound examination of the bladder and kidneys in children from spina bifida.

Theresa Harbauer gives her presentation.

From left to right: assist. Prof. Kateryna Hlushko, prof. Oksana Boyarchuk, seminar participants from Slovakia, Theresa Harbauer (Germany).

At the end of the seminar, participants discussed the ways to improve provision of medical care for children with spina bifida and directions for further collaboration to implement modern standards of care and quality of life in these patients, including in Ukraine. Representatives from Slovakia and Germany extended invitations to the patients and their parents to participate in training programs, trainings, and summer camps.

Drs. Hlushko and Boyarchuk would like to express their gratitude to director of Child-Help International Pierre Mertens, president of the international Belgian-Ukrainian charitable foundation Oekraїne-Project-Edegem VZW Liliane Bollaerts, volunteer Eveline Matthieu and head of the NGO Siaivo Dukha Mariana Koshmaniuk for their support in attending the seminar.

Kateryna Hlushko, Liliane Bollaer, Oksana Boyarchuk, Myleen Christiaens, Pierre Mertens.