Cincinnati Children’s Team Travels to Tanzania To Help Kids in Need


In early November of 2016, Steve Kraus, MD, the Division Chief of Fluoroscopy, traveled with two surgeons, an anesthesiologist, a nurse anesthetist, two operating room scrub nurses, a circulating nurse, and three floor nurses from Cincinnati Children’s Colorectal Center on a surgical mission trip to Mwanza, Tanzania, sponsored by Mending Kids, a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Kraus’s primary role was to provide the radiologic support to the surgical team to assist in the pre-operative workup of patients with colorectal surgical disease. Most of the patients were born with an anorectal malformation in Tanzania or one of the surrounding countries. Doctors in these countries can perform the first surgery when a child is born, but do not have the expertise to perform the complete repair. During the week-long mission, Dr. Kraus performed a fluoroscopic exam on selected patients to make a roadmap of the large intestine for the surgeon to plan their surgical repair.

Related Articles: Cincinnati Children’s Radiologist Pays it Forward, Get To Know Your Radiologist: Dr. Steven Kraus, Part 1, Get To Know Your Radiologist: Dr. Steven Kraus, Part 2

In addition to the abnormality on the patients’ bottoms, there are other abnormalities that are commonly associated, such as kidney, spine, and vaginal abnormalities. Therefore, Dr. Kraus also evaluated these areas of the body, using a portable laptop ultrasound unit that was lent to Mending Kids by one of the major ultrasound manufacturers, partnering with them to provide support for our mission.

It is very rewarding not only to help children who would not otherwise have the opportunity to receive this type of specialized care but also to teach the radiologists at this hospital to perform the diagnostic exams required to assist their own surgeons, with the goal of making these surgeons able to operate on straightforward cases independently.

Contributed by Dr. Steven Kraus and edited by Catherine Leopard (Child Life Specialist).

Catherine Leopard

About the Author: Catherine Leopard

Catherine is a Child Life Specialist who works in Cincinnati Children’s Department of Radiology. She has always been drawn to helping children overcome their fears. As a young child, Catherine remembers sitting in her pediatrician’s office feeling sad as she listened to young babies crying in exam rooms. In response, she began singing lullabies through the walls to sooth and comfort those children in distress. As an adult, she first experienced the support of Child Life when her infant daughter was hospitalized. After that positive experience, Catherine completed her Child Life internship at Cincinnati Children’s and has worked here ever since. Her daughter is now a teenager and her son is an active 3rd grader.

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