NEPAL SURGICAL MISSION TRIPS
The foot and ankle conditions that we treat in Nepal are the among the worst I have seen. To make matters worse, the great people of Nepal live in one of the poorest countries of the world. Transportation from remote villages in the Himalayas is difficult. Medical education, supplies, facilities and access are challenges that interfere with their medical care.
Clubfoot is 6 times more common in countries like Nepal. When possible, we treat newborns with Clubfoot via a series of Ponseti cast manipulations to achieve correction, minimizing or eliminating surgery. When we go to Nepal, we teach the Ponseti technique and provide the necessary cast materials that they would otherwise lack. We also treat other congenital and pediatric conditions, traumatic injuries and chronic injuries.
Neglected congenital deformities oftentimes require complex rearfoot and ankle surgery in adults. These deformities have a profound effect on daily life - functionally, psychologically and culturally. In Nepal's caste society, our patients are seen as outcasts. Even if they are physically capable, they may not be able to have certain jobs or even marry. Our goal of surgery is generally to decrease their pain and the progression of deformity while improving their functionality.
Healing The Children (HTC). This non-profit organization has sponsored our team for the past 8 years. We heavily rely upon donations to sustain these continued trips. Donate to the HTC Southern California Chapter to support the cause. As we treat patients in Nepal, our broader goal is to also provide the surgeons at the Nepal Orthopedic Hospital (NOH) with the materials, education and training necessary to become self-sufficient in treating their future patients.
Earthquake and Response. Just after our March 2015 mission, the Kathmandu Valley was rocked by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Over 8,000 people died and the poor country was further devastated. Dr. Kihm worked with MedShare, a local non-profit organization in Decatur, GA. Their response was enormous. A hand-selected container of 1,000 boxes of medical supplies was express-mailed to the NOH. For this collaborative work, Dr. Kihm was awarded MedShare's Community Hero Award.