CLEFT LIP AND PALATE PROGRAMME
With ultimate regard and estimation, the wake of rising cases of diseases in the society are wanting. Problems with genes passed down from one or both parents, drugs, viruses and other toxins can all cause birth defects such as the Cleft lip & Palate. These are diseases notably that can be eradicated by taking precautions and availing timely treatment.
The St. Luke’s Bone and Joint Foundations strategic scope envisions building partnerships with a difference, to increase the impact NGO’S have with regards to persons with disability. It is in this light that The Bone and Joint Foundation in partnership with Help A Child Face Tomorrow (Nairobi) conceptualised the need to have a cleft lip and palate reconstructive surgeries to the under privileged in Uasin Gishu county and as well the society at large.
The programme schedule saw the arrival of the HCFT team on the 15 of March 2020. The two teams had a terms of engagement meeting as well as orientation of the guests to the St. Luke’s Hospital facility on the 16th of March chaired by the St. Luke’s Hospital Operations Manager Mrs. Sheila Bichii.
Arrival of the Beneficiaries for screening took place in series, as they arrived in groups. The first lot arrived on the 15th of March and were well received and admitted courtesy of the able St. Luke’s customer care and front office team. Notably all beneficiaries originated from Narok and Turkana Counties. The project targeted 29 beneficiaries to undergo screening and corrective surgeries between the period of 16th to the 20th of March 2020. The screening programme began on the 16th of March followed by surgeries on the 17th.
In total the programme received 17 beneficiaries from both Turkana and Narok Counties. The Foundation through the St. Luke’s Ortho team, Nursing team and the HCFT Clinical team carried out 16 Successful surgeries. 1 patient (the 17th) was expectant and hence was registered and scheduled for the next series of corrective surgeries.
The surgeries were successfully completed on the 19th of March 2020. The St. Luke’s Hospital courtesy of the management team was able to discharge all the patients by the 20th of March. The teams in their groups were able to travel safely (confirmed) back to their respective counties and homes.
THE BONE AND JOINT PROGRAMME
The Bone and Joint programme is devoted to providing free access to corrective surgeries and other non-surgical forms of treatment to the under privileged persons in the community faced with bone and joint ailments/challenges. The realization of this goal is well anchored on the continuous support and participation of the public, state and non-state actors and donors at large.
Following the Bone & Joint walk 2019, for the implementation of the project, the foundation co-operated with various stakeholders among them the National Health Insurance Fund. The first phase of treatment will see to 21 patients undergoing surgeries. In this light the foundation in the month of January visited various children homes the likes of Jawabu, St. Mathews, Nerkwo homes e.t.c collecting bio data information necessary for the implementation of the programme.
The beneficiaries were able to provide NHIF details, birth certificates for the children, profile passport photos and parent’s identification details. The foundation then followed up by paying for the National Health Insurance Fund cover for 15 beneficiaries for a period of 12months (full year cover). Notably six of the beneficiaries already registered and had active covers hence were still viable for the first phase.
With regard to the insurance covers only 4 patients had received NHIF approvals and hence the foundation deemed it best to proceed with the treatment as per approval. The 2nd day of April saw the first Bone and Joint beneficiary arrive and admitted in preparation for the corrective surgery. Following the wake of the Corona virus pandemic dubbed Covid-19 and government regulations for safety purposes the foundation opted to handle no more than two cases at a go.
The 3rd of April recorded the first successful surgery with 4 other patients being admitted on the 10, 12, and 15th with surgeries following thereafter on the 11, 13, and 16th respectively. Two of the patients in for surgery on the 11th were discharged successfully on the 14th of April while one patient operated on the 13th was discharged on the16th of April and one more is currently recuperating at the wards.
The bone and foundation has so far conducted 5 successful surgeries for the following beneficiaries who are scheduled for their first reviews on the 23rd of April and the 14th of May 2020. They are;-
The period reviewed herein indicates progressive steps towards the realization of the goals of the Bone and Joint Foundation. As we continue to embody the outlines of the sustainable development goal number 3 in providing good health and well-being for all; informing all the outreach activities of the foundation will be the commitment to serving those who are most vulnerable i.e. the under privileged in the society. Therefore there will be a need to increase active participatory roles that the board of directors, donors, partners and volunteers alike play.
The programme continues and will endeavor to use social media and the mainstream media in promoting activities of the Bone and Joint Foundation. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and the website shall remain key for before implementation, during and after all Bone & Joint activities.
Informative videos on non-surgical forms of treatment, causes and precautionary measures for awareness purposes will be created, compiled and channeled through the given sites and future publications.
The foundation shall complete the remaining 16 surgeries as per NHIF approvals within the next quarter while working towards dispatching of wheel chairs, crutches and providing scheduled dates for the remaining beneficiaries scheduled for prosthetics and physiotherapy respectively.
The programme will continuously seek donor funding to support the all outreach activities and necessary treatment. Various institutions and individual pledges towards monetary donations from the walk period are yet to be honored and hence follow ups will continue, in order to galvanize the required support. In addition the bone sheriff’s will continue to seek partnerships with as many institutions such as the HCFT organization, which mirror the goals and interests of the foundation in serving the community.
THE VICTORIA HAND PROJECT PROGRAMME
In Uasin Gishu county, prosthetic services remain very limited hence the Bone and Joint Foundation through the Victoria Hand Project partnership seeks to fill the gaps in access and provision. The Victoria Hand Project is a Canada based organization and has eight branches throughout the world. (Guatemala, Nepal, Cambodia, Haiti, Ecuador, Egypt, Uganda and now Kenya).
The Victoria Hand Project designs low-cost, highly functional, 3D printed prosthetic hands (upper limbs- trans radial amputation). The Victoria hand is thus a complete body-powered prosthesis consisting of a hand, wrist, a limb socket and a harness. In terms of features, it is highly functional, provides a natural appearance and it is custom made to fit each amputees. The hands allow the amputee to perform a range of activities needed to raise and support the beneficiaries’ quality of living.
Since February 2020, the Victoria hand project team has been able to fit 3 patients, comprising of 2 children and 1 adult. The cases are as follows;
Bin Amin a 7 year old boy amputee of upper limbs as a result of burns accident; Ijabu Mohammad a 14 year old teenage girl from Mandera, right trans radial amputee caused by a boil formation and Jacob Sego a thirty year old resident of Eldoret County, right trans radial amputee caused by car accident in 2013. The following below are their pictorials;
Report compiled by Bethuel Masiga – St. Luke’s Bone & Joint Foundation .