Samburu Orthopaedic and Trauma Project
When it comes to health in developing countries, the first thought goes to Malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV. In reality, the picture has drastically changed over the last decade. The growing urbanization in search of work and the placing on the market of low-cost (and therefore accessible to many) motorcycles produced by China has created a real epidemic of trauma. According to the data of the “Global Burden of Disease” with the DALY (Disability Adjusted Life Years), a score to calculate the impact of a disease on the population, musculoskeletal pathologies, especially trauma, have a higher weight compared to Malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV together. This has created an extremely unbalanced situation in developing countries, from one side an impressive number of trauma cases, on the other a system lacking in orthopedics and traumatology ranging from pre-hospitalization to post-operative.
What does “trauma” mean in Africa? What does it mean to have a fracture?
The very high cost of the correct orthopedic implants to surgically treat fractures makes adequate care inaccessible for 80% of the population, which for complex fractures means risk of evolving into pseudarthrosis, deformity and disability, with a huge social impact on the family: inability to go to fetch water or wood, inability to work to support the family, inability to go to school and lose the opportunity for education.
Someone said “poverty is one step away from a fracture” and this it is the truth: for those who have a fracture they are forced to sell their livestock, their land and sometimes their homes in order to cover the costs of orthopedic implants.
Since 2016 we have had the opportunity to work in a government hospital in Samburu County with Dr. Daniele Sciuto, and since 2019 the enormous weight of traumatology and the frustration of witnessing daily disabilities due to incorrect fracture treatment, prompted him to start an orthopedics and traumatology program.
Starting from scratch, the needs were enormous, but thanks to the support of NGOs and friends, year after year, Samburu County Referral Hospital has become the referral center for orthopedic trauma for all of Samburu County and neighboring counties, providing quality orthopedic treatment with suitable systems completely free.
During these years Find The Cure Italia Onlus has supported the orthopedic-trauma program by buying technical material such as the orthopedic drill, providing crutches for early walking to all patients and covering the travel costs for post-operative checks at the reference hospital.
To date, over 400 operations with orthopedic implants have been completed (intra-medular nails supplied by SIGN Fracture Care international, external fixators for open fractures and correction of deformities, plates for fractures and corrections of pseudarthrosis) for an estimated saving of over 1 million euros for Samburu population and, we like to think, a reduction in disability with a huge impact on the family and society.
Samburu Orthopaedic and Trauma Project
The needs are still many: about six months ago the endoprosthesis operations (hip prosthesis) began for patients with fractures of the femoral neck to be able to return them to ambulate as quickly as possible and avoid the complications of bed rest in elderly people and the replacement of orthopedic implants is continuous and non-stop due to the high number of weekly operations.
This is why the “Samburu Orthopedic and Trauma Project” was born: in order to provide all patients with the correct treatment for the fracture suffered, and return to being 100% active without disability in the shortest possible time to be able to take care of the family and the education.
What the project is about:
- Purchase of orthopedic implants, in particular hip endoprostheses, plates and screws.
- Purchase of dedicated orthopedic instruments.
- Purchase of crutches to ensure rapid walking.
- Travel expenses support to enable patients to receive follow-up visits and ensure a complete recovery without complications.
- Last but not least, the future of remote areas like Samburu County lies in Telemedicine. For about a year we have supported the creation of an application called “Squat and Smile App” which allows the evaluation of orthopedic patients remotely, in order to increase the follow-up rate in orthopedic patients and avoid traveling to the most remote areas of the county.
How you can help
Thanks to all those who will help us in supporting orthopaedic care for the Samburu County community.
Donations from Italy:
Donations from abroad:
Intestazione / Account Holder: Find The Cure Italia ODV
Sede Legale / Registered Office:
Piazza Della Libertà 8, 17055 Toirano, SV, IT
(to and from the referring hospital)
(Dedicated plates for intra-articular fractures)
Squat and Smile App:
(Development and maintenance costs support)
(Dedicated orthopaedic equipment purchase)