Kenya (MNN) — Life offers little hope for the
disabled child in the developing world. One
of the most common disabilities there is clubfoot, a congenital birth defect
that makes walking painful and working nearly impossible.
Yet, it can be easily cured with early
identification and intervention. That,
in turn, can begin to address poverty issues, one family at a time. CURE International's goal is to help families
and communities understand that they no longer have to let a disability determine
the outcome of a child's life. In
addition, CURE provides medical education and training to national medical
professionals in countries where the organization has hospitals.
That's why CURE is moving forward with an ambitious
campaign to eradicate clubfoot in the developing world. CURE's
Lisa Wolf says their work has a "ripple effect." "Here we have an impact on a child and
her family understanding that this isn't a curse, that these disabilities can
be taken care of. But then there's also the impact made in her community and helping
them understand; we're making an impact on the country of Kenya by training
the medical professionals."
CURE uses teaching hospitals to bring the national
medical professionals up to speed on the most effective treatments of common
birth defects like Hydrocephalus, Cleft Palate, Club Foot, Spina Bifida, and
other spinal deformities, as well as crippling orthopedic conditions.
They currently have teaching hospitals located in
Afghanistan, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Kenya, Malawi, United Arab Emirates,
Uganda and Zambia. Within the next 18-24
months, CURE will have hospitals in Egypt, Ethiopia, Niger and Palestine.
It's all about one touch and one transformation at a
time. In Kenya, Rauhiya was born with
severe bilateral clubfoot deformity. Her parents did not know that surgery
could correct their daughter's clubfoot, enabling her to walk without
Her relatives believed that the girl's condition was
the result of some wrong-doing against their forefather's spirit. The family was told that the father did not
pay the entire bride's dowry to his in-laws and, therefore a curse had been
cast upon the family. They sacrificed a bull in an attempt to appease the
spirits, but her condition did not improve.
mother learned of the CURE hospital in Kenya, and Rauhiya is on her way to a
normal, hope-filled life.
Wolf says the Gospel completes the
transformation. "We have a
tremendous breakthrough with families like this in helping them to understand
that God loves them. This isn't a curse, and the children are going to be
better. It just has a tremendous impact
on their lives, which is why our motto is, "Healing changes everything." It's not just the medical healing, it's also
the spiritual healing."