The bandage covering Olida Soanirina’s eye does not disguise the ravages of hydrocephalus as the three-month-old recovers from an operation at the Joseph Ravoahangy Andrianavalona Hospital (HJRA) in the capital Antananarivo. Hydrocephalus is caused by an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain’s ventricles, with those who suffer from it producing up to seven spoonfuls an hour while the average person produces one. Left untreated, the condition causes the head to swell as pressure increases, leading to disability and a painful death. Treatment in the developing world is difficult because of the high cost of neurosurgery operations.
Jul 21, 2011