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Project information

Miracle Babies of Uganda

We want to train national doctors in a ground-breaking surgical skill to save the lives of 1.5 million babies suffering with Hydrocephalus (‘water on the brain’) over the next 10 years. CURE Hydrocephalus Worldwide is a global training programme based at CURE Uganda, the only centre in the world.

January 2013 - January 2014

Charity information: CURE UK

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  • Need


    We are aiming to save the lives of babies with Hydrocephalus (‘water on the brain’) by training a national in a first-world, life-saving surgical technique. Most developing countries do not have enough surgeons to provide the medical care that is needed.

    Hydrocephalus develops when the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain is hindered or blocked, resulting in excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain. Left untreated, this leads to brain damage, blindness and ultimately death.


    By training and equipping doctors to carry out the pioneering ETV/CPC technique, thousands of young lives can be saved. This keyhole surgery technique vastly improves the mortality rate of babies with Hydrocephalus by draining fluid off through the spine. The infection rate is therefore much reduced, compared with the traditional ‘shunt method’.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To train six general surgeons each year in the ETV/CPC technique.


    » Admit six surgeons from across the world in our Hydrocephalus Training Programme.

    What success will look like

    Success will be... Each doctor passing an external examination which is assessed by COSECSA, the African equivalent of the Royal College of Surgeons.

    Aim 2

    To send surgeons out across the developing world trained in the ETV/CPC technique.


    » By training six surgeons in the ETV/CPC technique and sending them back to their home hospitals to practice in this method.

    What success will look like

    Success will be... The doctors practising the ETV/CPC technique in their home countries.

    Aim 3

    To provide the ETV/CPC procedure free of charge to children throughout the developing world.


    » By offering free operations to children suffering with hydrocephalus at each of the CURE hospitals and programme centres.

    What success will look like

    Success will be... Increasing the availability of the ETV/CPC procedure across the globe.

    Aim 4

    To save the lives of thousands of babies suffering with Hydrocephalus each year.


    » By the newly trained surgeons successfully performing the ETV/CPC procedure, across the world.

    What success will look like

    Success will be.. Seeing many sufferers of hydrocephalus survive and go on to lead long, healthy lives.

  • Impact


    We will increase the number of surgeons able to perform this life-saving technique and consequently save the lives of thousands more children.

    Each doctor will undergo a 9-months training period, followed by an external examination which is assessed by COSECSA, the African equivalent of the Royal College of Surgeons. CURE continues to monitor the results of all of operations, overseen by our Chief Medical Director, Professor Lavy.


    Political unrest is always possible, especially in the developing world. However, in most cases, we continue to operate no matter what.
    Economic instability may also develop but, because we are part of the global network of CURE international, we can insure financial stability.


    Where appropriate we will have one to one meetings to thank our donors in person. In other cases we shall be writing to them individually. In the case of online supporters, we shall send them an email update.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £214,500

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £78,000 Training Training expenses for six surgeons
      £136,500 Equipment Equipment to practice the ETV/CPC technique, for six surgeons

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Jerseys Overseas Aid Committee £35,750 Guaranteed
    Private donors £143,000 Conditional
  • Background


    CURE Uganda is the first paediatric neurosurgical hospital in Sub-Saharan Africa and globally recognised for its treatment of Hydrocephalus. Situated in Mbale, Uganda, training is accessed by doctors from across the world, enabling thousands of children to be cured each year. In Uganda alone, 650 children are treated for hydrocephalus annually. In a country where the ratio of neurosurgeons per population is 1 for every 10,000,000 people, this hospital is right at the centre of need.


    The funding from this project will train six surgeons in the ETV/CPC technique. Each surgeon will return to their home country with the expertise to practice this procedure and the capacity to cure hundreds of children each year with this minimally invasive operation. Each new surgeon will target a minimum of 50 cases in the initial year and expand to as many as 200 cases annually by their fourth year of operations.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    CURE Uganda is recognised as a global leader in the treatment of Hydrocephalus and the CHW training programme is the only one of its kind in the world. At CURE Uganda, Dr. Benjamin Warf pioneered the ground-breaking minimally invasive surgical procedure (ETV/CPC) that greatly reduces the mortality rate of surgery, compared to the more traditional ‘shunt’ method. Dr. Warf remains involved in the CHW programme at CURE Uganda, helping train surgeons from all over the world.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Dr. Benjamin Warf, CURE Hydrocephalus Senior Medical Director And Chair Of CURE’S Medical Advisory Board

    Dr. Warf, Professor at Harvard University, is the pioneer of the ETV/CPC procedure, with a strong advisory role in the activities of the programme.

    Dr. John Mugamba

    Dr. Mugamba is a Ugandan-born Neuro Surgeon who leads the training at CURE Hydrocephalus

    Professor Chris Lavy OBE MD MCh FCS FRCS (Oxford -) Chief Medical Director

    Professor Lavy heads up the CURE medical team and supports the project team through monitoring their work and evaluating their progress.