ZANE Clubfoot Treatment Programme
With over 6 million teens and adults suffering from untreated clubfoot across the world, ZANE’s clubfoot programme has so far enabled the treatment of over 2600 cases in Zimbabwe.
Clubfoot is a congenital deformity which affects one or both feet causing twisting which, if left untreated, makes it painful and often impossible to walk.
If the condition is diagnosed in infancy, clubfoot can be cured using the Ponseti Method, which is minimally invasive and involves the careful manipulation of the foot and plaster casting over a period of 4-6 weeks, followed by bracing until the correct position of the foot is achieved. If treatment starts at birth it is usually complete by the time the child is ready to walk.
ZANE has established a clubfoot programme in Zimbabwe – this has supported the training of medical technicians including doctors, nurses and physiotherapists in the use of the Ponseti method.
Below is an email of thanks received after the initial training visit:
“A very brief email to send a very BIG Thank You!! We want to express our gratitude for your help in making this last week, a memorable one for all kids with clubfoot in Zimbabwe.”
(The ZANE medical team) delivered two excellent 2-day courses on the management of clubfoot using the Ponsetti method. One in Harare and the other in Bulawayo as planned.
We had an excellent turnout at both venues, with some fairly influential people attending, including the CEO of United Bulawayo Hospital, the Clinical Director of Parirenyatwa hospital, Harare, the Dean of Medicine at the National University for Sciences and Technology, 3 out of 5 Harare Orthopaedic Surgeons and 3 out of 5 Bulawayo-based Orthopaedic surgeons to name a few.
The course was fantastic and very well received at both venues after some initial scepticism in Harare. I think that we have made quite some impact with these courses, and the results will be far-reaching.
The touring faculty were brilliant, really knew their stuff and presented it all in a great manner that was fitting to the Zim environment … I think our visitors have all returned home with fond memories of the people and their trip to Zim, despite the very tight and busy Schedule.
None of this would have happened without your support in terms of flights and funds. Thank you very very much, we’ve a long way to go but we have had a great start thanks to your generous contributions. Thank You.”
Prosthetic Limbs Programme
It is almost impossible to imagine, but there are literally thousands of unexploded anti-personnel mines right around the borders of Zimbabwe.
These are a sad legacy of the Chimurenga war.
Because these mines are laid very near the surface, they can move with heavy rains across a great distance and, if trodden on or picked up, can cause horrific injury to limbs.
ZANE has formed a partnership to provide prosthetic limbs for landmine victims.
ZANE’s Hearing Aid Programme
The World Health Organisation estimates that hearing impairment in Zimbabwe runs at about 6% of the general population but it is feared that the actual figures run much higher than this due largely to the lack of access to health facilities in the country especially amongst the rural poor.
The problem is particularly rife in children where untreated ear infections can lead to hearing loss, which of course, impacts the sufferer both socially and educationally. The cost of hearing aids in the private sector ranges from AUD$800 to $1500, which means it is impossible for most of those affected to even consider the possibility of obtaining them.
ZANE has entered into a partnership with a hearing charity working in Zimbabwe to “close the disparity in access to hearing healthcare services between the affluent and the poor by supporting the underprivileged with affordable hearing aids of good quality.”
Through this programme we have managed to reach out to more than 250 beneficiaries with the supply of hearing aids in the last nine months.
Tawanda suffered from hearing impairment after a severe infection when he was two years old. He found school very difficult as much of the time he could not hear what the teacher was saying and other children did not want to play with him because he couldn’t follow the game. Even at home there were difficulties as he often misunderstood what was being asked of him. Since being fitted with a hearing aid, Tawanda has started to see progress on all fronts and his teacher has praised the way his classroom participation and learning have improved.
His mother writes, “I am so grateful that he can now hear properly thanks to his new hearing aids – bless you all.”
With the current collapse of the economy in Zimbabwe, many children are simply unable to attend school because their parents cannot afford even minimal school fees.
ZANE has sponsored several pop-up classrooms for children living in the high-density townships, which means that they will be able to follow a curriculum consisting of basic literacy and numeracy but will also learn farming techniques to enable them to grow food for their families.