A team of health workers from the US headed by Dr. Peter Janes of Vail-Summit Orthopedics under Centura Global Health Initiatives (CGHI), will be travelling to Rwanda, on a medical missionary trip, from July 22 to August 11.
The group of orthopedics will be providing no-cost surgical, medical and community health programs, education, training and relief in an area where health care is often limited or difficult to obtain.
They will begin giving treatment to patients at three different hospitals including Rilima, Mugonero and CHUK, from the day of arrival, and learn more about the children of Rwanda and the efforts of CGHI to improve their lives in many important ways.
“Most surgeons fled the African country or were killed during the major genocide in 1994. The team focuses on orthopedic surgeries because the people of Rwanda must rely on their limbs not only everyday life, but for income,” said Dr. Janes.
During their stay, the team targets to perform about 15-20 surgeries, where Dr. Janes will be conducting workshops to train local health care providers on how to correct club foot in newborns.
(CGHI) is an organization that offers short term medical mission trips that provide no-cost surgical, medical and community health programs, education, training and relief in areas where health care is often limited or difficult to obtain.
Dr. Janes and Ms Paula Enrietto, Medical Assistant, will help to train Rwandan physicians and physical therapists in the treatment of club foot deformity for the children of Rwanda.
Clubfoot is a birth defect that occurs in about one in every l, 000 births. The foot turns inward and points downward, and it often appears the patient is walking on his or her ankle.
There also cases clubfoot in babies in the United States which are normally treated soon after birth when the tendons and ligaments are still very flexible using the Ponseti method, developed by Dr. Ignacio Ponseti of the University of Iowa.
“Unfortunately for many children in Rwanda, this method is not always available following birth and treatment then requires more difficult surgical procedures,” said Enrietto.
Today, there are only six Orthopaedic surgeons for the entire country of approximately 10 million people.
He added that, there are limited training programs that support the Ponseti method. The result is that some children with club foot are left untreated and have physical limitations for life.
CGHI has made a commitment to help children with clubfoot in Rwanda. Using the proceeds of a grant for $57,000 made by Catholic Health Initiatives, Dr. Janes will assist in the important task of training physicians and physical therapists to treat club foot soon after birth.
Dr. Janes will lead a team for CGHI and also provide training in the Ponseti method for 25 Rwandan physicians and physical therapists at the Sainte Marie Orthopaedic Children’s Hospital at Rilima.