Research and results in Malawi
A photo from when Chosadziwa was in the hospital, modeling the bilateral frames used to treat neglected clubfoot. The frames are kept on for about a month, slowly manipulating the foot into the right position. The research project was to see long-term outcomes of frame treatment.
CURE Malawi is not only a nonprofit orthopedic hospital, but it is also a teaching and research hospital. This past year, we asked all the kids who have had frames as treatment for clubfoot from 2008-2016 to come in as part of a research project on results and outcomes from frames. It was awesome catching up with these kids, many of whom were published on our website and who we know really well! We wanted to highlight some of their stories!
Chosadziwa was one of the kids who was treated for clubfoot more recently, in 2016. He still doesn’t walk quite as easily as someone treated as an infant, but it’s a huge improvement compared to what it was.
Dr. Karolina, who is doing the research project, recorded the measurements of Chosadziwa’s feet. She used a special pad to map how post-clubfoot kids place weight on their feet. Chosadziwa loved the outcome of his treatment.
“When I came here, I hoped I would become better, but I never imagined myself walking like I can walk today! It’s like I have been reborn without any deformity. My life has transformed from zero walking to jumping and dancing with joy. I am so thankful to CURE and all the donors who helped with my treatment.”
He went on to explain how he is also a better person in his walk with Jesus and is going to church!
Chisomo is a brilliant success case and was last seen at CURE Malawi in 2013. You can barely tell any difference between his foot that had clubfoot and his foot that was normal. It was so awesome to see him doing well four years down the road from treatment!
“My son is so much better now. He is able to play football and he walks to school without pain or discomfort,” said Chisomo’s mom.
Unfortunately, Mayamiko is one of the kids who hasn’t had as good of an outcome; her feet are still tight and it looks as if her clubfoot is reoccurring. She first came for surgery in 2012. When clubfoot is treated in infancy with Ponseti casting, there is over a 90% success rate with low rates of reoccurrence. For older children like Mayamiko, who are treated with frames, the outcome is not always as good.
“My daughter still walks with difficulty and can’t go to school every day. She feels pain and can’t walk long distances or run. Her feet are better after her treatment here at CURE, but she would need more help to give her full mobility. But in all this, we as her parents are thankful to be part of CURE and receive free treatment and care,” said Mayamiko’s dad.
We are working to raise awareness in Malawi about how easy it is to treat this condition early! Mayamiko is currently undergoing another round of treatment.
In many cases, some families do not follow up with CURE because they can’t afford transportation, or they simply give up, leading to worse outcomes. Lack of follow-up care is a major cause of relapse and can lead to more operations and a return of the clubfoot disability.
Although she isn’t a published CUREkid, Mphatso is a good friend! We were so happy to see her again! She first came in November 2015 for a frame and it’s amazing to see how far she’s come!
Catherine first came to CURE in 2012 and we haven’t seen her since 2013. From a clinical standpoint, her feet aren’t perfect, but the treatment she had at CURE has not only changed her life, but also her family’s life.
“My family has really changed for the good! My husband used to be a chainsmoker and he was very difficult. The peace was imaginary at home; we never had this peace and love. After he was a guardian at CURE for Catherine, he stopped smoking! On top of that, my husband looks so handsome and smart. He is always caring. I totally believe that all the changes in my family came because of Catherine’s condition. I can say that all things worked for good of my family and my daughter. Catherine’s grandmother [who was an herbalist] threw away all her traditional medicine and she is a strong woman of faith. I am so happy to see my family coming together in love, peace, and joy! I would love to thank all the donors who have been pouring out from their pockets for my daughter and my family. God bless you all,” said Catherine’s mom.