February 15 2022
KUMAMOTO – “Happy Kabo-chan,” a temporary care facility for children with serious disabilities who need a ventilator, opened in Tsuruhada, Kita Ward, Kumamoto City on February 13. A dental clinic is attached to the facility, so that children can receive oral care during their short stay, and there are also plans to hold cooking classes for parents on allergy-friendly food. The facility will also be used as a base for families of children in medical care to interact with each other.
This is the second short-term medical facility of its type operated by Ogata-kai, a medical corporation, following Kabo-chan Club, which is attached to a pediatric department in the same ward. The facility is a two-story building with a total floor space of about 200 square meters. The Nippon Foundation, which supports children with intractable diseases and their families, subsidized the facility with about 70 million yen, while donations from the general public, who support the project, raised 4 million yen.
Seven staff members, including a dentist, dental hygienist, nurse, and physical therapist, are stationed at the clinic and accept about five patients a day. In order to prevent aspiration pneumonia, which is common among children with disabilities who use artificial respirators, special equipment is used for airway clearance, which assists in the evacuation of phlegm, and for the removal of tartar. The center also offers “e-sports,” a computer-based competitive game, as a way to help people find motivation in life and work for the future.
At the opening ceremony, Kenichi Ogata, chairman of the board of directors, said, “There are not many facilities that accept children on ventilators. We would like to make it a better facility by using it as a salon for parents to talk with each other.”