Malawi is situated at the Southern end of the Great Rift Valley bordered by Tanzania in the north, Zambia in the west and Mozambique to the east and south. It is some 800km in length and at no point more than 160km wide.
It is a poor central / southern African country, with a population of approximately 12 million. For those people of Malawi, there are only 5 orthopaedic surgeons with only 1 in Central and Northern Malawi.
There are 5000 children with untreated clubfeet in Malawi, and 500 more born each year! Most often these cases are undiagnosed at birth, and even if they are diagnosed, treatment is unavailable, or local belief systems hinder treatment options.
Our aim in preventing and correcting clubfoot in Malawi are as follows:
Laos is a poor, communist country in South East Asia, bounded by Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Burma. It is a mainly subsistence farming country, and has very little infrastructure or medical support. Therefore any disability that prevents a person from working affects both that person and their community.
As in Malawi, there are very few orthopaedic surgeons, and of those very few have any specialist training. The main hospital is in the capital Vientiane, and there are 5 other regional centres throughout the country.
In conjunction with COPE, we are planning to return to provide some surgical training in basic orthopaedic skills.