The Three Rivers Foundation is now planning their first excursion in three years to save children from critical but treatable illnesses, as they work to recover from the damage endured over the past years.
The Three Rivers Kids Foundation is a Canada-based charity working to assist under-privileged children in need of life saving treatments that are not offered in Guyana.
Prior to the covid-19 pandemic, the Foundation conducted annual trips for children to be treated at the Asian Institute of Medical Science in Delhi, India. Through these excursions, more than 200 children were saved over the past 14 years.
For the past three years however, closed borders and complication with travelling during the covid-19 pandemic made these trips impossible.
President of the Foundation, Jeanette Singh was visibly emotional as she related two young girls died during the pandemic.
“We lost two children. It’s very sad because they were so treatable. They had very… had they… were we able to take them to India they would have definitely not died. It’s very heartbreaking for that to have happened.”
The girls were diagnosed with Nephrotic syndrome, a disorder characterised by protein in the urine, low blood protein levels in the blood, high cholesterol levels, high triglyceride levels, increased blood clot risk, and swelling – according to Mount Sinai.
Both children died from preventable complications of renal failure (kidneys failing to function).
Singh is based in Canada but is currently in Guyana making up for the lost years and organising the next batch of children who will be travelling for treatment in March 2023.
“Pre-covid, we had a doctor who was dedicated to the Foundation and he did all the follow-ups. A couple of the patients have their own GPs and they would follow up with their local GPs but for the ones who don’t have… Unfortunately, that doctor died because of covid.”
She has managed to find a new doctor and is continuing to develop new relationships locally to find more children in need of care and continue assisting them.
The loss of these two young girls are the only lives lost out of the hundreds of children the Foundation has made contact with since its establishment.