Sri Lanka

Q2/2011: Long Term Medical Support for Children

August 1, 2011

Stephney Minerva Fernando

Our Children’s Long Term Medical Treatment and Growth Hormone Project continues into 2011 with 5 children being treated to promote normal levels of growth and weight for their age and any other serious medical issues that are brought to our attention. Each month the families are seen by Prof. Sujeewa Amarasena, Head of the Department of Pediatrics at the Karapitya Teaching Hospital in Galle, Sri Lanka.

Real Medicine continues to provide food parcels and contribute to each family’s travel expenses incurred in visiting the hospital for the children’s treatment.

 In 2005 shortly after the tsunami, Dr. Martina Fuchs, met Madumekala, an adolescent girl suffering from panhypopituitarism. At age 11, Madu was the height of a three year old.  Dr.Martina Fuchs chose to fund Madu's treatment for growth hormone therapy through Ruhuna Medical College. As of this past June 30th, Madu’s height has increased slightly to 124.5 centimeters and weight has risen to 22.1 kilograms with hormone treatments. She just recently turned 17 years old; and celebrated this birthday as is a special tradition in Sri Lanka. Her family continues to receive a food parcel to supplement the hormone treatment. Prof. Sujeewa, the treating physician, has also just started treating Madu with Climen, a sex hormone that will help Madu's progression into puberty.

Gayan has suffered from Hypopituitarism following surgery and cranial eradiation for craniopharyngioma from the age of 5 years old. He was eleven when he began his growth hormone therapy in 2007 and had the bone age of a six year old. He originally stood 125cm tall. Fazeer is 15 years old and is being treated for abnormally low height and weight. His height has risen to 143.8 (from 142 in the last report) and weighs 37.2 kilograms. He is also given regular resupplies of an auto-injector so that he can be treated at home as well. We are hoping his height and weight will continue to improve now that he is attending more regularly.

Fazeer is now age 14 years and is in the eight grade at the International School in Dickwella.  He began receiving Growth Hormone Therapy funded by RMF at the age of 11 in the 2007 for a partial deficiency in growth hormone. At the time, he started therapy he was 106cm and had a bone age of 3.5 year.   Because of Gayan’s low body weight, Prof. Sujeewa had recently prescribed an increase in the dosage of the growth hormone from 7 clicks of the auto-injector to 9 clicks per day. Gayan has grown in height with treatment but his weight is now the larger issue to be focused on. As of July 30th, his height is 142.6 and weight has grown to 27.6 kilograms.

 had been diagnosed in 2007 with Renal Tubular Acidosis and Chronic Renal Failure, he was eleven, yet was only 106 cm tall and had the bone age of a child 4.5 years old.   He began receiving Growth Hormone Therapy through Real Medicine’s program in 2007. Madura is now 13 years old and so far Prof. Sujeewa is pleased with his progress. As of July 30th, Madura’s height is 129.6 centimeters and weight is 22.1 kilograms. Madura will continue with the Growth Hormone Therapy until he is 16 years old.

Tharindu is now 18 years old and has been treated for hyperlipidemia since 2005. He has his blood profile taken every 3 months to check his cholesterol. Tharindu is continuing to receive his medication every 3 months as well as a nutritious food parcel every month. As he lost his mother in the Tsunami, his aunt prepares his healthy fat free diet for him. Tharindu has also finished his course at the local Technical College in Tangalle for driving light vehicles and is maintaining regular exercise such as swimming and cycling. He is looking healthy and weighs 69kgs.