Posts Tagged CCW

Working together to cure clubfoot in Rwanda

Mrs. Esperance Uwizeye, the CCW coordinator for Rwanda, attends to a patient.

Mrs. Esperance Banza, the CURE Clubfoot coordinator for Rwanda, attends to a patient.

The country of Rwanda has been described as “The land of a thousand hills,” which, with its elaborate green, undulating landscape of hills, gardens, and tea plantations, is an accurate description. The city of Kigali is becoming a modern city, perhaps the cleanest in Africa. It is well laid out and everything seems to function properly.

It is a fitting description to anyone who has traveled in Rwanda, but I would add another: “miracle country.” How else do you describe a country that went through one of the worst genocides in human history, yet in only twenty years has come back better, stronger, and more united than ever? Rwanda is unified in fighting disease, hunger, poverty, and corruption and is also committed to looking after children, especially those with disabilities.

It is in this country that CURE Clubfoot has come alongside the Ministry of Health, the church, and other NGOs to make healing children born with clubfoot a reality. Out of a population of 11.4 million, 501 babies are born with clubfoot each year.

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World Clubfoot Day in India lead by CURE

UntitledSubmitted by the staff of CURE International India Trust.

CURE India lead nationwide events on the occasion of the World Clubfoot Day on the 3rd June 2013, the birthday of Dr I. Ponseti. Even though it was the first time a similar celebration was organised, reports of various activities, events, and press releases were received from 16 states, which is very successful and encouraging. The objective of this national celebration was to bring about the message of prevalence of clubfoot in India and the availability of free treatment with the Ponseti method of clubfoot management in Government Medical Colleges and public hospitals. Below are the glimpses across a few states. Read the rest of this entry »

CURE Ethiopia Clubfoot Symposium, Live on Ustream

ustream

CURE Clubfoot Worldwide (CCW) is pleased to announce that this Saturday, 30th March 2013 beginning at 11:45AM GMT (7:45AM EDT), the Ethiopia National Clubfoot Program is holding an afternoon symposium titled ‘Missed opportunity to prevent a child from permanent disability’ in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. They will be discussing how clubfoot services can be integrated with other child health services in order to increase capacity for identification and referral of children with clubfoot. The hope is that clubfoot might be included in the newborn health checklist.

CCW Ethiopia’s own Adugna Hirpa, program coordinator for the Ethiopia National Clubfoot Programme, has led in organizing this event and is scheduled to present along other notable persons and organizations, including: Mrs. Adey Abate (CURE Ethiopia Executive Director), Professor Wubalem Zewdie (Addis Ababa University Medical faculty), Professor Birhanu Ayana (Addis Ababa University Medical faculty), Tigabu Gebremedhin (CBM Country Director), Professor Bogale Worku (Ethiopian Pediatrics Society President & Addis Ababa University Medical faculty), Professor Tilahun (Ethiopian Pediatrics Society), and Dr Biruk Lapiso (Ethiopian Medical Society President).

In attendance will be representatives from the Ethiopian Pediatrics Society, the Ethiopian Mid wives Society, the Ethiopian Physiotherapy Society, the Ethiopian Orthopedic Society, the Ethiopian Gyni/obs Society, UNICEF, Save The Children, Handicap International, Child Fund Ethiopia, ICRC, CBM, Federal Ministry Of Health, Zewditu Hospital Pediatrics department, Yekatit Hospital Neonate department, Black Lion Hospital Orthopedic department, PACT Ethiopia, World Vision, MSH, Compassion Ethiopia, NCA, Biligates Foundation, CURE Ethiopia, and possibly YOU via UStream.

Interested parties can experience the conference online through UStream on Saturday, May 30 at http://cure.org/symposium or at http://ustre.am/VMEB.

Beginnings

“You have trouble with your intestines and difficulty sleeping,” was the English translation. The person who spoke the message in Mandarin was the one massaging my feet. I was in a small shop along a street in Kunming. We had stopped in to get warm; the hot water with herbs for our feet was welcome. I glanced up at a poster on the wall that described the “shadow” areas on a human foot that echo various bodily systems. Indeed the two areas on the bottom of my feet that when pressed made me flinch and wince corresponded with the poster’s map showing connections to the areas he mentioned. Read the rest of this entry »

A New Day

There is cute musing found on the Internet or heard in speeches, blogs, and sermons. It contrasts entries one would find in a typical dog’s diary and a typical cat’s diary. They are obviously from pets living in an American household.

The dog’s diary entries:

Monday – Woke this morning and went for a walk first thing – it’s my favorite thing! Ate breakfast when we got back – it’s my favorite thing! Slept for most of the morning – it’s my favorite thing! Went for another walk when I woke up – it’s my favorite thing! Played outside, running after a ball and bringing it back again to be thrown again – it’s my favorite thing! Ate another meal when we got home – it’s my favorite thing! Went for another walk at night – it’s my favorite thing! Went to sleep for the night on my bed – it’s my favorite thing! Read the rest of this entry »

Thinking of wonderful things on the flying dead bird

The following was written by Christine Kalondu Ngui after she joined me on a trip to Burundi — her first trip in a plane! Christine is a Kenyan who has qualifications in accounting. Her role is CCW Accountant, supporting primarily the Africa region but also providing some support to CURE Clubfoot Worldwide globally. Beyond the finance domain, Christine has also assumed the role of “office manager extraordinaire” for the CCW Africa Regional Office!

Christine, waiting to board

For the first time in everything, everybody experiences a level of anxiety and timidity. For my first time on a plane, I was so early to my checking in; I wanted to have enough time to avoid simple embarrassment. But this was not enough to suppress the anticipation in me. Under other circumstances, perhaps this anticipation would vanish with the presence of family members escorting, but thank God for my colleague Linda, who helped me beyond expectation, with good care and concern.

But still, this does not kill the anxiety; I anticipated taking off so much. As soon as the pilot was done with the announcements, we took off safely, and my mind completely switched from the Kenya Airways flight and almost forgets that I’m headed for Burundi for a mission. Read the rest of this entry »

Simple, But Not Easy

Simple, but not easy. On my present trip to India, this phrase has come to mind in several contexts. CURE International India Trust (CIIT) is the umbrella under which the CURE Clubfoot Worldwide (CCW) program is administered and managed. I attended the CIIT board meeting, which has impressive and helpful members who are devoted to the continued good work and expansive growth of the program. To do this effectively, CIIT was registered as a trust, and several applications were made to be able to receive funds without tax consequence. Simple goals, but not an easy process – there are at least four approvals needed, and the ability to receive funds from outside of India on a more permanent basis still awaits. The government appropriately is concerned to vet our organization, ensuring we are legitimate and have fidelity to our mission. The authorities want evidence that we spend our money with integrity, but we cannot bring in funds until they grant approval. Read the rest of this entry »

I prayed for an Angel

Phil Hudson presenting CURE Clubfoot Worldwide in Niger.

Making the initial CCW presentation to hospital executives in Niger

I spent a week in Niger traveling more than 2,500 kilometers (about 1,550 miles) visiting clubfoot clinics and prospective clinics. Some are mission run, but most are government hospitals which are partnering with CURE Clubfoot Worldwide (CCW). Orthopedic surgeons, physiotherapists, cast technicians, and some nurses have been trained in the Ponseti method by CCW at the CURE Hospital in Niamey. Each partner clubfoot clinic has a CCW-trained counselor assisting the medical staff.

In the prospective partner sites, we met with the Medical and Executive Directors and explained what CCW does in our partnership clinics. In most cases, this was the first time they had heard of the CURE Clubfoot Worldwide Niger program. In every case, they were excited and asked about next steps.

We stopped at the regional hospital in Dosso, one of CCW’s current clinic sites, during their normal Saturday clubfoot clinic. It was very encouraging to see the physio assessing the feet and properly applying the casts. We talked with the orthopedic surgeon who had dropped in to perform a tenotomy. Most of the patients had already been seen and treated. The staff said there were still two patients who should have been there but had not yet arrived. After discussing with the staff about the clinic progress in general, I left the CCW coordinator with them and went outside. A young woman was walking into the clinic yard with her infant, who was wearing a cast.

Since I knew she would have 10 minutes or so before going into the clinic, I grabbed a translator and started a conversation. I asked about her beautiful baby girl, her Islamic faith, how she was doing with the casting process, and other general questions. The final part of the conversation follows:

mother and child outside clubfoot clinic in Niger

Malaika and Halimu

Me: Is this your first child?

“Yes.”

How old is she?

“Several months old.”

What did your husband and your mother and others say when they saw you had given birth to child with clubfoot?

“My husband was in the field working, but I heard my mother and other women say that it was God’s will that I have a disabled child.”

And what about your husband when he got home? What did he say?

“He said the same thing. This was God’s will for me to have a deformed child and for the child to be disabled. He said to even seek treatment would be to go against God’s will.”

What did you think? Did anyone say that it was your fault to birth a child like this?

“No. I know that these things occur. I knew it was not my fault. It was God.”

What motivated you to come for treatment then?

“I heard a radio program by the government saying that this condition could be treated and healed. It said it was a common condition, but that a child born like this did not need to be disabled. I didn’t want my child to grow up disabled. I want her to live normally and get an education and have a good husband.”

So after the radio program your husband and family helped you to get here to the clinic?

“No. They said I should not go, and they would not give me any money for the transportation to get treatment because it was God’s will for this child to be disabled.”

So how did you manage to come to the clinic?

“I went to all my friends and borrowed money for the fare to come.”

So after several visits, with them seeing that the foot is improving and having heard that the doctor said it could be healed, do they give you money for the next week’s fare?

“No. I have to borrow each week. I will work extra in the fields later to pay it back.”

Your daughter is very blessed to have a mother like you. What is her name?

“Malaika.”

(To my translator – Malaika means Angel doesn’t it? “Yes”, he said.)

What is your name?

“Halima Abdou, and my husband is Bahamu Tsahirou.”

Is it OK if I pray for Malaika and you and your husband?

“Yes, please.”

So I prayed for Angel (Malaika), her extraordinary mom, and her father and extended family. I prayed that the Ponseti treatment would be 100% successful and that she would grow up without the stigma of being disabled. I prayed that the God who loves and redeems and heals would reveal Himself to Angel and her family.

I also praise God for the many hundreds of mothers like Halima who go to extraordinary lengths to seek help for their children. She motivates me to do more to make the treatment and healing assessable.

It is easy to think that the harsh view of ‘God’s will’ is found only in the Muslim community. But while on this visit to Niger, I met with a group of pastors to teach, encourage, and listen to them. I asked them why children are born with clubfoot and had them share with the person sitting beside them. Then we had each group tell us their answer. Their answers fell into roughly three categories. The first and most common answer was, “It is God’s will for the child to be born deformed.” This was followed by “Spirits, demons, or ancestors,” and finally “environmental issues or something the mother did.”  When I have asked the same questions to people from nearby countries who are neither Muslim nor Christian, but who follow traditional religions their responses are similar, with “Spirits, Curses, Ancestors” being the most commonly held belief.

Bad theology seems to transcend the object of the belief and exists in all faith communities. One of the roles of the counselors in the CCW programs is to counter bad theology/cosmology and help alleviate fear and hopelessness. Only faith in Christ provides an ultimate path to freedom from fear.  An understanding that clubfoot occurs in all societies and in all places with roughly the same ratios to live births does motivate parents to seek treatment and move beyond the self-blame and fear.

 

Amazed by Liberia

Editor’s note: This report was filed during the author’s mid-July visit to Liberia.

I’m writing this from Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, a West African country in which we are trying to start a national clubfoot program. This is my first visit to Liberia, but it’s been 13 months in the making. Most of the countries in which we have clubfoot programs in Africa don’t also have a CURE Hospital. That results in an entirely different dynamic, and starting those programs is a lot more challenging. Read the rest of this entry »

CURE In the News: Week of August 5, 2012

CURE Ethiopia

Medical partnership restores physical and spiritual hope” from Mission Network News

 

CURE Clubfoot Worldwide

Mizoram Clubfooted Persons Gets Hope” from Northeast Today