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Rickets Treatment for Children in Bangladesh

by HOPE Foundation for Women & Children of Bangladesh
Rickets Treatment for Children in Bangladesh
Child Receiving Vital Supplements
Child Receiving Vital Supplements

Dear HOPE Supporter,

Thank you for your generous suport to HOPE's project treating children with Rickets. Cox's Bazar has one of the rarest forms of Rickets in the world and the debilitation is still being studied by international experts. With the donations we received from you, we trated many children, particularly those with reversible Rickets; that is, we were able to reverse their condition through providing them with continuous supplements and counseling their mothers on appropriate nutrition. This is a huge success. Surgery for irreversible Rickets is costly, complicated and takes an incredibly specialized surgeon hours to perform. HOPE decided that in roder to better serve the children of Cox's Bazar and to best prevent Rickets, we would revamp our project to treat malnutrition. The help of Dr. Ekaterine, a Pediatrican from Georgia, HOPE Foundation was able to conudct a malnutrition study while treating children who were greatly suffering. HOPE has realized this is the most cost effective and sustainable approach to preventing Rickets as well as best serving children in need. Children with irreversible Rickets will continue to be seen at HOPE Hospital and referred to a specialist who will is apt to perform required surgery. HOPE is excited to announce this shift in program to our supporters, as we feel we will reach mroe children and prevent Rickets from occuring at all. Thank you again for your incredible support, it is truly affected the lives of so many Bangladeshi children.

Best Regards,

Ashley Pugh


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HOPE Foundation for Women and Children of Bangladesh has been extremely busy in the past few months! Despite Cyclone Mahasan that hit our village of Cox’s Bazar, we have continued to provide lifesaving health care services to those most in need. HOPE Foundation has held two cleft surgery camps in collaboration with our recent partner Smile Train, working tirelessly to give those children a second chance at life. HOPE also received a visit from our obstetric fistula surgeon, the world renowned Dr. Steven Arrowsmith, and put on an obstetric fistula repair camp during the cyclone! Because of these efforts, 18 women are now cured of their incredibly debilitating condition. In addition to providing high quality health care to thousands of women and children, these specialized care camps make HOPE a place for advanced medical specialty, which is rare given just how rural and remote of areas we are working in.

HOPE has formed new partnerships as well. On top of gaining new corporate sponsors, HOPE is now partnering with Resurge International, a California-based organization that conducts medical missions to cure burn, trauma and cleft in the world’s most desperate of places. In South Asia, more children die of severe burns than HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Respiratory disease! This is due to the fact that women and children use open fire cooking pits to cook and light their homes. Often times their clothing is too loose from the body and catches on fire. Other times children are playing too closely to the fire and lack adult supervision. We are now working to address these severe burns and provide reconstructive surgery to hands and feet that have been rendered useless due to burn injuries. HOPE is looking forward to October when Resurge International will come to Cox’s Bazar and provide 50 surgeries to disabled individuals!

In the near future HOPE will be expanding its educational and training opportunities for rural women and girls, and provide not only them with a livelihood and advanced skill, but also be increasing the capacity of Cox’s Bazar to help bring themselves out of poverty. In educating more girls in the health care field, we are giving them the skills training that will employ them for the rest of their lives, while helping the community build better access to trained health care workers. It is essential that we continue to build the capacity of the region in which we work, as it is the most sustainable way forward. HOPE wants to ensure we are always giving back to these people in the most appropriate and generous form.

Thank you for your incredible support to HOPE Foundation for Women and Children of Bangladesh. Without you, we could not do any of this lifesaving work!


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Kate Grant visiting a recovering fistula patient.
Kate Grant visiting a recovering fistula patient.


Hope Foundation for Women and Children of Bangladesh is pleased to share the great strides and successes as of late! On January 28th, 2013, our Community Midwifery Program began with the students attending their first class. This program is the first Bangladeshi Government recognized Midwifery program in all of Bangladesh! HOPE will train and graduate 100 midwives by the year 2016. In total, the course will run for 3 years, consisting of 2 years of study and the final year in an internship. The end goal of the program is to provide a supply of midwives that will be rigorously trained and capable of working in rural areas where accessibility to delivery and care services is vastly underdeveloped. The students who were chosen for this course are all local girls, living in and around Hope Foundation medical centers. This helps ensure that, once they graduate, these trained midwives can go back to their own communities and help deliver babies at home as independent practitioners or seek employment at the Hope Clinic near their homes. The midwives can also seek employment elsewhere, but by selecting girls who are living in rural areas they are more likely to stay in their communities to work and provide services to the rural women who are most at need. The use of trained midwives working with mothers while pregnant, during delivery, and postpartum, will facilitate a smoother and safer birth process.  Through the use of trained midwives, we can expand our outreach and education concerning rickets, and educate new mothers on how to provide adequate nutrition to their newborns and children to prevent this condition. Furthermore, midwives will be able to recognize birthing complications during delivery and after, and help these women in need to access appropriate medical attention immediately, as opposed to these women suffering for long periods of time, unaware that their condition can be treated. A greater access to midwives means more lives are saved, both mothers and babies!

From November 4-12, 2013, the world-renowned surgeon from Michigan, Dr. Steven Arrowsmith, returned to Bangladesh to conduct Hope’s third Fistula Camp. Possessing over 25 years of experience, Dr. Arrowsmith has worked all over the world, particularly in Africa, to treat women suffering from Obstetric Fistula. Fistula is a condition in which a small hole is created in the genitalia, a complication due mainly to difficult, prolonged labor. In Bangladeshi villages, most births are at home at the hands of untrained birth attendants who encourage premature bearing down as soon as labor pains begin. This painful labor can last for days and the effect of all that pressure can cause fistula. The prolonged labor also means that the baby dies inside the mother. Obstetric fistulas result in incessant, lifelong incontinence if untreated. The smell and the social stigma result in husbands abandoning their wives, since they do not know that the condition can be cured, and eventually these women become ostracized from their communities. Through our grassroots approach to locating and examining women for operation, we are treating these women and restoring their lives. 24 surgeries were completed by Dr. Arrowsmith during his 9 day camp.

November 26th through December 6th, HOPE Foundation’s partner Smile Bangladesh returned to Cox’s Bazar to hold a third Cleft Camp. The mission was led by Dr. Shahid Aziz, a Maxillo-facial surgeon from New Jersey, and a long-time friend of HOPE. Dr. Aziz brought along an entire team to complete 60 operations in 12 days.  Here at Hope, we are ecstatic that we are reaching an ever-increasing amount of patients!

The work of Hope Foundation is due to our kind supporters. We greatly thank you for all that you have committed, and because of your actions, we have saved the lives of thousands. Your contributions pay for cleft and fistula surgeries, the training of birth attendants and midwives, food for the patients while they are admitted into the hospital, and so much more! We cannot thank you enough for the support you have shown us and we look forward to a very bright future!

Dr. Aziz and a child he performed cleft surgery on
Dr. Aziz and a child he performed cleft surgery on


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Dr. Ekaterine and Dr. Nada helping a tiny patient
Dr. Ekaterine and Dr. Nada helping a tiny patient

Note: The picture above shows two of our volunteers, Dr. Ekaterine and Dr. Nada Alnaji feeding formula to a baby who needed our services at Hope Foundation hospital. The formula will provide this baby with the calcium that is necessary to prevent rickets.

In the last three months, Hope Foundation hospital has provided treatment of rickets for 50 children! Our committed health workers are continuing to administer door-to-door nutritional surveys to members from the Cox Bazaar community in efforts to raise their awareness of rickets and how it can be prevented with adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D. We have updated the ‘Overview’ section of this Global Giving page to provide more information on prevalence of rickets in the Cox Bazaar, Bangladesh area, and on our personal action plan for treating rickets. Please feel free to give it a glance. The update explains that Hope Foundation provides treatment for rickets and makes arrangements for patients with advanced cases to have surgery where they are referred to Ma-O-Shishu Hospital in Chittagong, Bangladesh. However, we are excited for that to change! In 2013 we will benefit from the services of a very qualified surgeon from France, Dr. Thierry Craviari, who has volunteered to perform rickets correction surgery in-house at Hope Foundation hospital to any of our patients in need.

Thank you kindly for keeping track of our page, our progress and for GIVING! We hope you can see how much your donations have improved the quality of these children’s lives. If you want to learn more about this cause or any other projects of Hope Foundation, please ask. We would love to fill you in.

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Dr. Pham and Dr. Garsevanidze
Dr. Pham and Dr. Garsevanidze

Earlier this summer on May 12th, Hope Foundation held a fundraiser at Mehfil Restaurant in Sunrise, FL. Over 100 supporters attended the dinner. Among the guests were Mr. Nurun Har (member of Parliament) and Dr. James Howell (Professor of Public Health and Associate Dean at Nova Southeastern University). We were thrilled to see the community support for a good cause and look forward to utilizing the funds raised for our various projects, including Rickets surgery. 

In addition, we are delighted to welcome international medical professionals including Dr. Jonathan Pham and Dr. Garsevanidze who will be dedicating their time to our patients at Cox's Bazar Hospital for Women and Children.

Thank you all for your support and contributions. Great work has been accomplished and we could not have done it without you! 

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Project Leader:
Iftikher Mahmood
Ramu, South Mitachari, Cox's Bazar Bangladesh

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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