COVID-19 Russia Relief Fund
The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating in Russia, and now, an alarming number of Russian healthcare workers are becoming infected with the coronavirus due to a shortage of protective gear. In Moscow, authorities have begun to deploy medical students to replace the healthcare workers who have fallen ill. In the regions outside Moscow healthcare workers are forced to confront the virus with even fewer resources and are pleading for proper protective equipment. According to recent statistics, Russian medics are 16 times more likely to die from the coronavirus than healthcare professionals in countries with similarly high Covid-19 cases, primarily due to the shortages of protective gear.
Recently, the Russian Children's Welfare Society joined the efforts of Rusfond (Russian Aid Foundation) to equip healthcare workers in Russia with personal protective gear. RCWS sponsored the purchase of 100 hazmat suits for medical personnel at the Children's Hospital #2 in Voronezh. Rusfond continues to receive requests from local hospitals in desperate need of help and collaborates with reliable factories to insure prompt delivery of protective equipment to the hospitals.
In response to the epidemic, RCWS established the COVID-19 Russia Relief Fund to help save doctors and nurses treating infected patients and to equip hospitals with critically needed protective gear. We are asking for your support of frontline healthcare workers in Russia by making a lifesaving donation.
Currently, 7% of COVID-19 cases in Russia are children.
“GIVE BEAUTY BACK TO THE CHILDREN” - PEDIATRIC MAXILLOFACIAL SURGERY FUND
Thousands of Russian children are burdened by unsightly facial deformities as a result of congenital defects, tumors, cleft lips, cleft palates, and other traumas. Only 2-3 hospitals in all of Russia have specialized surgeons to undertake cases that often require a series of surgeries and highly advanced medical technology. Consequently, treatment is often a luxury, few families have access to even when it is a dire necessity for a child’s physical and psychological well-being.
The Russian Children’s Welfare Society has been involved in several medical assistance projects helping to properly equip hospitals, promote training of Russian doctors in the latest medical advancements, and treat children in need.
In 2010, RCWS launched “Give Beauty Back to the Children,” in partnership with Professor Vitaly Roginsky, Head of the Moscow Center for Maxillofacial Surgery (MCMS) and Lev Ambinder, Head of the Russian Aid Foundation (Rusfond). MCMS is one of the most innovative facilities in Russia providing treatment and rehabilitation for children with facial deformities.
Thanks to the join efforts of Rusfond, MCMS and RCWS, the “Give Beauty Back to the Children” program has forever altered the lives of over 2,000 children suffering from facial deformities. The average cost per surgery is in the range of $2,500-$5,000. Thanks to our donors’ support and the help of advanced medical micro technology, Professor Roginsky and his staff have witnessed the transformation of as a result of these surgeries.
To learn more about Professor Roginsky and his remarkable medical career, please click here.
We would like to share few stories of little patients whose lives have been changed thanks to this project.
Damir, 8 years old
Diagnosis: Multiple congenital malformations: median cleft, hypertelorism, heart disease, kidney duplication, hypoxia lesion of central nervous system.
Damir’s parents, a young couple could not be happier when the ultrasound showed that they were expecting twins. Unfortunately, the following screening showed that the boy had many health issues. After he was born and discharged from the NICU, Damir and his parents went to numerous hospitals in their native Izhevsk, but the only doctors ready to undertake such a complicated case were to be found in Moscow. Oct 11, 2011 when Damir was only 1 year old two teams of neurosurgeons, maxillofacial surgeons and anesthesiologists operated on the little boy for 20 hours.
In 2015 Damir reunited with those surgeons on stage when they were presented Best Doctors Award for performing 4 simultaneous surgeries to remove craniocerebral hernia and facial deformities.
Damir’s name means “Gift to the World” and his story is a reminder that modern medicine, human kindness and aid can create miracles.
Diagnosis: Congenital bilateral cleft lip and palate.
Lena’s mother writes: “We welcomed Lena to our family from the correctional orphanage where I work. She could not talk at all. We went through 2 surgeries in 4 years since we became one family. Lena’s previous harsh diagnosis - Intellectual Disability has been waived; now Lena is ahead of her peers at school, she plays violin and draws! Thanks to 2 courses of speech therapy covered by our donors have completely changed our girl – she mastered sounds and is communicating more freely. Lena’s therapy is ongoing.
April 1st 2009 our family welcomed our second daughter – Lena Krymykhina who was 3 years old at a time. Lena’s biological mother gave her up while still at the maternity ward. One of the reasons she sited Lena’s medical diagnosis: Congenital bilateral cleft lip and palate.
Lena could no talk, was avoiding adults and other children, and was diagnosed with Intellectual Disability. At the time Lena entered the orphanage where I happened to work as a speech therapist, she required extensive treatment; could barely talk and was able to eat only soft food and very slowly.
Once I shared our story with a local doctor we knew; he suggested to contact Moscow Center for Maxillofacial Surgery. Suddenly everything changed! First, Lena had an appointment with the orthodontists who created her treatment plan. Next was reconstructive pyloroplasty surgery. It was after this surgery when Lena, looking in the mirror, believed that she does not look different from other children. Several speech therapy courses followed; Lena started speaking much better and began her studies at regular school (rather than special needs), which was a great achievement for our girl. Lena went through a transformation from a distant loner to a beautiful bright girl, our pride. In addition to a regular school, Lena also attends musical school and plays violin.
Recently, Lena had 2 more surgeries: bone plastic and otoplasty surgery.
Lena is a good student; she received a Governor’s award for her academic achievements; doing very well in her violin classes. However, Lena still has health issues and needs help – she still requires orthodontist treatments and speech therapy.”
To learn more about maxillofacial procedures and hospital needs, please click here.
Sechenov Medical Academy, Department of Pediatrics, Moscow
The Sechenov Medical Academy is one of the oldest and best-recognized hospitals in Russia. Built in 1891 to treat abandoned children in Moscow, it is a teaching center for medical students and provides free medical treatment for patients from throughout Russia. The Pediatric Department is a multi-profile department with 250 in-patient beds and an out-patient capability providing medical help to children up to 18 years of age with systemic ailments of conjunctive tissues and arthritis. In 2019, RCWS awarded $10,000 to cover highly-needed new lab reagents to aid in early diagnosis and treatment, allowing Sechenov Medical Academy to provide improved medical care to over 200 of its young patients.
Charitable foundation to assist sick and abandoned children “Deti.Msk.Ru”, Moscow
The organization assists the Russian Children’s Clinical Hospital. In 2018, RCWS provided assistance to the Russian Children’s Clinical Hospital (RCCH) via equipment and enhanced medical technologies. RCWS sponsored a new surgical drill (the Acculan 3Ti and supplies totaling $12,708) that was highly needed to treat epilepsy and other medical conditions for over 150 children annually from different regions of Russia.
One of the fund’s areas of activity is the “House of Hope,” the first and only free home-hotel for ill children and their families where they can live after being discharged from the hospital while still requiring outpatient treatment. “House of Hope” had to close because its heating system was not functional. In 2019, RCWS provided $11,994 to replace the heating system, benefiting 70 recuperating children and their families annually.
Children's Hospital of the City of Moscow No12
The Children’s Hospital of Moscow provides medical assistance to over 41,000 children (29 schools, 56 kindergartens, 2 orphanages and 3 colleges) who live in their district. The hospital offers both prophylactic care and targeted treatments. The Hospital services almost 75% of children living in southern Moscow. The RCWS helped the Hospital acquire equipment for the treatment and preventative care of children with congenital cardiac defects. This equipment elevated the quality of diagnosis by allowing for more accurate cardiac, transcranial, abdominal, and vascular ultrasounds. Since the average lifespan of a transducer is 10 years, the Hospital will be able to examine around 85,000 children and greatly improve the lives of those found to have cardiac pathologies.
Additionally, RCWS sponsored a hematology analyzer, Pentra MS 60, which tests and quickly provides a full hematological status of a little patient across 26 parameters and requires a significantly smaller volume of blood (almost twice as little) in comparison to other machines, making the experience of blood drawing much less traumatic for children. In spring 2017, RCWS awarded additional funds to replenish most needed supplies for Pentra MS 60 that the Children’s Hospital could continue offering accurate diagnoses, treatment and preventative care to their patients, ranging from newborn to 18 y.o.
MEDICAL TRAINING PROGRAM
In 2017, RusFond and RusFond USA worked with the RCWS to provide specialized training in the treatment of Epidermolysis Bullosa for eight Russian medical professionals at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital in England, one of only two centers to run a specialist pediatric service for this disease. EB is a very rare genetic connective tissue disorder that affects 1 child out of every 50,000. Children with EB are known as “butterfly” children because their skin is as fragile as the wings of a butterfly and tears at the slightest scratch. When provided with proper medical treatment, children with EB can live from 50-70 years versus only 12-15 years without treatment. Regular pediatricians cannot provide the routine care and follow-up that children with EB require so this exchange will arm the Russian doctors with the required knowledge and give them the opportunity to live happy, productive lives free of restrictions.
Besides seriously affecting internal organs and bodily systems, EB has a long list of secondary complications that requires interventions from medical specialists in addition to daily care. The visiting team was shown videos of children with EB undergoing procedures in Birmingham, including surgery and the exquisite care and expertise required to insert feeding tubes without rupturing the children’s skin. They also learned how to properly dress EB patients’ wounds, spoke to youngsters afflicted with the condition, and visited the burn, dental and eye departments. Armed with the specialized knowledge from their training in England, these 8 medical professionals want to set up a specialist clinic to treat EB at St Petersburg Children’s Hospital No 1.