Aftercare

Multidisciplinary care coordination is vital to improving
the wellness outcome for SBH children

Creating possibilities, changing lives

In Ethiopia, care after surgery is scattered and scarce. Many families must travel great distances to reach medical care, which makes necessary follow up visits difficult and unrealistic.

To ease this barrier to aftercare, ReachAnother is helping build multidisciplinary specialized teams to improve the wellness outcome for children living with spina bifida and hydrocephalus (SBH).

We are committed to

Raising aftercare standards to prevent future health problems

Providing critical information to parents before and after surgery

Giving hope by raising awareness and addressing sensitive cultural norms

Care After Surgery

At each Center of Excellence partner hospital across Ethiopia, there are teams of specially trained professionals that provide coordinated, cost-effective, multi-specialty care with the goal of bridging the gap of available aftercare services and make every attempt to give children impacted by neural tube defects a chance to live happy, healthy lives.

Training Course for SBH Care Teams

Aftercare means the care that patients receive after surgery and discharge from the hospital. A very specialized team of caregivers is needed to provide this care. At the request of the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, ReachAnother developed a training curriculum for a Pediatric Neurosurgery Nursing Certification. Two cohorts of nurses have completed their SBH certification in Bahir Dar (March 2021) and Addis Ababa (August 2021).

Continence Management

Bladder and kidney complications pose life-threatening problems for spina bifida patients, even after a successful surgery, which can lead to bladder infection, severe kidney damage and death.

Clean Intermittent Catheterization (CIC) provides a critical solution. But while it appears simple, nothing is simple in Ethiopia. It requires hygiene and medication and supplies and a degree of skill that is hard to teach those who need this. Our partner, Child Help International, provided the first workshop on CIC training. Now, our Centers of Excellence partner hospitals provide doctors and nurses from around the country with professional standards, proper methods, treatments and techniques around CIC that their patients need for long term survival.

Our partners, Child Help and HOPE SBH, train nurses in continence management techniques for parents and children.
Efrata 11 years from ReachAnother Foundation on Vimeo.

Training Physical Therapy Students

Physical therapists play a critical role in the health care and fitness for anyone diagnosed with spina bifida. Physical therapists help children and adults with spina bifida gain and maintain mobility and function at their best throughout all stages of life.

We partner with Dr. Anneloes Overvelde who is a Dutch pediatric physical therapist and researcher at Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. She is also a lecturer at Gondar University in Ethiopia, where she coordinates the master’s degree “Train the Trainer” program in pediatric rehabilitation. As part of a program, sponsored by Light for the World and ReachAnother, she travels twice a year to Gondar (one of our Centers of Excellence hospitals), where she trains Ethiopian physical therapy graduate students in pediatric rehabilitation.

Helping Parents Care for their Child

Aftercare starts with teaching mothers the knowledge and skills needed to provide optimal care for their baby. Currently, this is a huge challenge in Ethiopia, where phone communications and internet frequently are interrupted and unreliable.

We partner with HOPE SBH, an Ethiopian organization started in 2017 and dedicated to educating parents and improving care for children born with neural tube defects. HOPE SBH works with the Centers of Excellence to distribute informational brochures, provide parent support and train the parents and nurses in clean intermittent catheterization.

Training Course for SBH Care Teams

Aftercare means the care that patients receive after surgery and discharge from the hospital. To provide this care a very specialized team of caregivers is needed. To develop this expertise Reachanother has, at the request of the Ministry of Health, developed a training curriculum for Pediatric Neurosurgery Nursing Certification. This training course is set to begin being implemented during the second half of 2020.

Continence Management


Bladder and kidney problems pose life-threatening problems for Spina Bifida patients, even after a successful surgery. This can lead to bladder infection, severe kidney damage and death.

CIC provides a critical solution. But while it appears simple, nothing is simple in Ethiopia. It requires hygiene and medication and supplies and a degree of skill that is hard to teach those who need this. Our partner, Child Help International, provided the first workshop on CIC training. And now, our Centers of Excellence partner hospitals are providing doctors and nurses from around the country with professional standards, proper methods, treatments and techniques around CIC that their patients need for long term survival.

Our partners, Child Help and HOPE SBH, train nurses in continence management techniques for parents and children.
Efrata 11 years from The ReachAnother Foundation on Vimeo.

Training Physical Therapy Students


The physical therapist is an important partner in health care and fitness for anyone diagnosed with spina bifida. Physical therapists help children and adults with spina bifida gain and maintain mobility, and function at their best throughout all stages of life.

We partner with Dr. Anneloes Overvelde who is a Dutch pediatric physical therapist and researcher at Radboud University in Nijmegen (NL). She is also a lecturer at Gondar University, in Ethiopia, where she coordinates the Masters Degree “Train the Trainer” program in pediatric rehabilitation. As part of a program, sponsored by Light for the World and ReachAnother, she travels twice a year to Gondar [one of our Centers of Excellence hospitals] where she trains Ethiopian physical therapy graduate students in pediatric rehabilitation.

Helping Parents Care for their Child


Aftercare starts with teaching mothers the knowledge and skills needed to provide optimal care for their baby. Currently, this is a huge challenge in Ethiopia, where phone communications and internet frequently are interrupted and unreliable.

We partner with HOPE SBH, an Ethiopian organization started in 2017 and dedicated to educating parents and improving care for children born with neural tube defects.HOPE SBH works with the Centers of Excellence to distribute informational brochures, provide parent support and train the parents and nurses in clean intermittent catheterization.

Efrata – 11 years old

A Cry Never Heard – Hope SBH

“The neurosurgeons in Ethiopia are under a lot of pressure, but with limited resources and great determination they save a lot of newborns from certain death. After the neurosurgeon has done his job, the physical therapist starts his work. If all goes well there is no reason that one day these children can’t become the neurosurgeons, runners or soccer players of the future.”
Dedde de Vries

Physical Therapist, Netherlands