Clinic News – El Salvador A Look Back at 2016

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A Look Back at 2016

CLUBFOOT PROGRAM IN EL SALVADOR

In 2016, On His Path continued to support the Clubfoot Program in El Salvador. Over the past five years, services have been done at five different clinics in the cities of San Salvador, Sonsonate, San Miguel and Santa Ana with four main program areas: clubfoot treatment and braces, counseling, training, and public awareness with the hope to eliminate untreated clubfoot. In October, we were successful with the inauguration of a new facility for the clinic in Sonsonate with funds donated by Dan and Amanda Posid in memory of their son, David. The new memorial clinic is equipped with all the necessary equipment to provide quality treatment in partnership with the Dr. Villacorta Mazzini Hospital. Establishing free clubfoot clinics is very relevant and significant because most of the parents cannot afford the treatment otherwise.

Our work in El Salvador would not be possible without the partnership with the five government hospitals and the invaluable support of orthotics, physiotherapists, nurses, counselors and generous donors that support our clubfoot program to provide treatment at no cost to the families and allows our program to reach the poorest of families. 

2016 has been a memorable and rewarding year! You are truly making a difference!

Memorable highlights from 2016 include the following:

• 152 new children enrolled in the program nationwide

• 983 casting visits

• 333-foot abduction braces distributed

• 661 follow-up visits

• 89 tenotomies

• More than 300 families received counseling

• Public awareness of the treatment of clubfoot and consequences if left untreated through program promotion including TV interviews, meetings with representatives of Health Units, Hospital Staff in the western area, and Health Promoters of three communities in the east area of the country.

Thanks to the generous support of donors, many children and families have benefited from the Clubfoot Program in El Salvador. Our program goals have been achieved for 2016, and new ones are on the horizon for 2017. In closing, we hope you will continue to support the Clubfoot Program – this program provides treatment for children, improves their lives and encourages them to become productive members of their communities.

Submitted by: Mayra Arteaga, Clinic Coordinator

David Posid Memorial Clubfoot Clinic

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David Posid Memorial Clubfoot Clinic—Sonsonate

The David Posid Memorial Clubfoot Clinic was dedicated with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, October 25th at Dr. Jorge Mazzini Villacorta in Sonsonate, 34 miles from the capital city of El Salvador. At the dedication were several patients, parents, Hospital National Director—Dr. Walter Flores and Sub Director—Dr. Nehemias Alfaro, Orthopedist —Dr. Ernesto Valdes, several physiotherapists, other staff members, and local media.

The construction of the clinic was made possible through a donation received from Dan and Amanda Posid, their son Alex, family members and friends who joined them to support the GoFundMe campaign from David’s memorial.

The clinic was dedicated in memory of David Posid, “a friendly and happy boy who liked to be around people all the time” as his father Dan Posid said. “His life was so short on this world but with such great impact and legacy. Our prayer even before David was born was that whatever treatment or inconvenience that he would have to endure, God would use David’s story to be a blessing to others, impact other people’s lives and draw people closer to God.”

After the cutting ribbon ceremony, parents, their children and all the attendees enjoyed touring the new clinic, received some tasty snacks, and had the opportunity to meet the Posids along with On His Path Founder, John Mitchell and Executive Director, Emily Ferguson.  The brand-new clinic will significantly improve the services provided to the children and will make possible for children born with clubfoot deformity to receive Ponseti Method correction in the western zone of El Salvador.

The Ponseti Clinic features a waiting room, play area, casting room, storage, and restroom and will provide an adequate and comfortable place for the patients, parents and staff who help us in the clinic. When On His Path started working in El Salvador in 2012, patients were received in the general casting room and emergency waiting room of the hospital.

The clubfoot clinic currently has 60 patients in different stages of the treatment and attends approximately 10 to 12 children weekly. This clinic will benefit hundreds – maybe thousands – of children who may be able to walk, run and have a normal life.

“We’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time and after many years of prayer and faith, we are thrilled to be able to say the new Ponseti Clinic is officially open! In this place, we will share the love of Jesus and bring physical and spiritual healing to children and families who desperately need it.”

As an organization, we are extremely thankful and humble to be a part of how God is using David’s story to impact other children in ways that we cannot imagine.

Submitted by Mayra Arteaga, Clinic Coordinator

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV

Clinic New: El Salvador

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David’s Story

Our son, David, was diagnosed in utero with a clubfoot. We did not know what our future and his childhood would look like, but we began praying, even before David was born, that whatever treatment, procedure, pain, frustration, or inconvenience that he would have to endure – that God would use his story to be a blessing to others, impact other people’s lives and draw people to God.

David went home to be with Jesus on November 24, 2015, just four weeks before he would have celebrated his second birthday. David was a trooper. Through all the castings, surgeries, braces/boots, etc., he bore it well. If he ever fussed over his boots, we knew we had put them on incorrectly. He squirmed when putting them on like any toddler would, but he never complained and never fought it as part of his night time routine. He learned to crawl, stand and even walk and jump a little in them. And as he got to spend his days without his braces, he was running so well that you couldn’t even tell he had an issue.

We had been donating David’s used braces to On His Path as he outgrew them. Upon his passing, we wanted to honor him, and we wanted his story to continue to be a blessing to others. At his services, we requested that in place of flowers, people would make a donation to support On His Path with the original intention of purchasing as many sets of braces as possible for underprivileged children.

The generosity of our friends and family was overwhelming. When we sent the check to On His Path, they advised us that there was enough there to cover the bulk of the costs associated with building an entire pediatric orthopedic clinic in Sonsonate, El Salvador and asked if we would rather do this than purchase braces. We gladly agreed.

David loved being around people, and even at a young age, his passion for others was evident. It was not uncommon to find him checking in on his older brother, Alex if he were hurt or upset, and with a hand on his shoulder, ask him if he was okay. We feel that building a clinic like this honors David’s memory and that it would delight his heart to have more friends with whom he could run around. We pray that children’s lives are blessed as they undergo treatment and that people would be drawn to God through On His Path and the story of our son.

Submitted by Dan Posid

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  – Philippians 1:6 NIV

Clubfoot Program in El Salvador

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Achild living with untreated clubfoot in a developing country will likely live in extreme poverty and be unable to be productive. If we can treat a child, all of that changes. That child can run, walk, play and attend school. He or she can eventually get a job and be self-sufficient. We have a great satisfaction from having a long term impact in our country.

Thank you so much for your partnership in On His Path’s ministry.

We are honored that you entrust us with your support. Please know that you are truly changing the lives of children in El Salvador and sharing the hope of Jesus.

We hope it brings you great joy to see the difference your support has made!

This was a great year for On His Path; we were able to serve children in the five clinics.

  • 179 new children enrolled in treatment
  • 619 casting visits
  • 219 foot abduction braces distributed
  • 343 follow up visits
  • More than 100 doctors trained at the IV Annual Ponseti Training and Congress in Santa Ana facilitated by Dr. Sequeira and Dr. Rosales
  • More than 300 families received counseling and the opportunity to receive the good news of the Gospel
  • Clubfoot program promoted in different spaces such as TV interviews in TVS in Santa Ana, TVR in San Miguel, Health Units, and meetings with Neonatology and Pediatrics Units in Santa Ana hospital

On His Path’s ministry is all about providing hope and help to children who so desperately need it. This is the result of the incredible generosity of the donors; we couldn’t have done any of this without the support of donors, doctors, and physiotherapists. On behalf of El Salvador staff and every child and family we help, thank you; wishing that you are filled with bounding hope, joy and peace. Because of God’s faithfulness and your dedication, children are receiving life changing care.

What a privilege it is to transform lives together, in the name of Jesus!

Submitted by: Mayra Arteaga, On His Path Clubfoot Clinic Coordinator

2015 Year In Review El Salvador

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Clubfoot Program in El Salvador

A child living with untreated clubfoot in a developing country will likely live in extreme poverty and be unable to be productive. If we can treat a child, all of that changes. That child can run, walk, play and attend school. He or she can eventually get a job and be self-sufficient. We have a great satisfaction from having a long term impact in our country.

Thank you so much for your partnership in On His Path’s ministry. We are honored that you entrust us with your support. Please know that you are truly changing the lives of children in El Salvador and sharing the hope of Jesus. We hope it brings you great joy to see the difference your support has made!

This was a great year for On His Path; we were able to serve children in the five clinics.

• 179 new children enrolled in treatment

• 619 casting visits

• 219-foot abduction braces distributed

• 343 follow-up visits

• More than 100 doctors trained at the IV Annual Ponseti Training and Congress in Santa Ana facilitated by Dr. Sequeira and Dr. Rosales

• More than 300 families received counseling and the opportunity to receive the good news of the Gospel

• Clubfoot program promoted in different spaces such as TV interviews in TVS in Santa Ana, TVR in San Miguel, Health Units, and meetings with Neonatology and Pediatrics Units in Santa Ana hospital

On His Path’s ministry is all about providing hope and help to children who so desperately need it. This is the result of the incredible generosity of the donors; we couldn’t have done any of this without the support of donors, doctors, and physiotherapists. On behalf of El Salvador staff and every child and family we help, thank you; wishing that you are filled with bounding hope, joy and peace. Because of God’s faithfulness and your dedication, children are receiving life changing care. What a privilege it is to transform lives together, in the name of Jesus! Submitted by Mayra Arteaga, On His Path Clubfoot Clinic Coordinator

On His Path’s ministry is all about providing hope and help to children who so desperately need it. This is the result of the incredible generosity of the donors; we couldn’t have done any of this without the support of donors, doctors, and physiotherapists. On behalf of El Salvador staff and every child and family we help, thank you; wishing that you are filled with bounding hope, joy and peace. Because of God’s faithfulness and your dedication, children are receiving life changing care. What a privilege it is to transform lives together, in the name of Jesus!

Submitted by: Mayra Arteaga, On His Path Clubfoot Clinic Coordinator

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9 NIV

Child’s Tenotomy

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Luis Alas was born on December 29, 2014, with unilateral clubfoot; he is the second child to his parents. His parents were able to find the treatment for him when he was three months old in San Juan de Dios Hospital, Santa Ana. On April 21, 2015, he started his first cast. Luis’ treatment included 8 casts and the tenotomy which was done on September 17th, 2015. The day of the tenotomy, Luis’ mother Wendy was so worried, weeping and fearful about the surgery. An On His Path Counselor had the opportunity to encourage and pray for her and Luis’s surgery. Wendy says “It makes me feel better that the counselor will be in the surgery with us.” Counselors have been in the surgeries lately to give support to the families and praying for them which make a special bond with the patients and their families and witness the physical and spiritual healing that takes place. Due to Luis’ progress, his mother is so happy with On His Path and the treatment her son is receiving. Luis will wear his first braces soon and hopefully he will have great results. On His Path helps children and parents for free and offers them love and care; we do this to proclaim the name of Jesus and follow His model for helping sick people.

Submitted by: Mayra Arteaga, El Salvador Clinic Coordinator

Children’s Day Celebration

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Lhe General Assembly of the United Nations recommended in 1954 that all countries institute a Universal Children’s Day to be observed as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children. It recommended that the Day was to be observed also as a day of activity devoted to promoting the ideals and the welfare of the children of the world. Children’s Day is celebrated in El Salvador every year on October 1st and On His Path organized a small celebration for all the children in the five clinics to bring smiles and happiness to them. On His Path purchased bags, balloons, chocolates, cookies, candies, etc, as small gifts for the kids. All the children were so happy to receive their bags and parents were thankful for On His Path’s funding for this special gift. As On His Path we are so excited to promote the wellbeing of Salvadorian children and seeing the Kingdom of God at work in their lives and give them the opportunity to have a normal life and be able to walk and run.

Submitted by: Mayra Arteaga, El Salvador Clinic Coordinator

Update from El Salvador Clinic

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Successful Training, El Salvador Clubfoot Program

The 4th Annual Ponseti Training in El Salvador was held in San Salvador on July 25, 2015 in partnership with Ponseti International Association. The two trainers were Dr. Martin Rosales with Mexican Clubfoot Foundation and Dr. Mario Sequeira with Miracle Feet Nicaragua. Along with these two reputable Ponseti method trainers, 7 doctors and two physiotherapists attended the training where they gained additional skills to effectively treat children with clubfoot throughout El Salvador.

During the training, we had the chance to present the statistics of clinics by Dr. Gomez (San Miguel clinic), and the main problems to give follow-up to Ponseti Method in El Salvador by Dr. Castillo (Benjamin Bloom Hospital), the tips of Ponseti casting and importance of keeping a database. As part of the training, 20 children with clubfoot were assessed and some of them casted. They are already under treatment in the five clinics of the program supported by On His Path.

On His Path will continue to support this clubfoot program by offering clinical training, abductions braces, pads, plaster casts, counseling and the promotion of the program within the healthcare system and to the public to increase the number of children reached. Our goal is to eradicate clubfoot as a disability in El Salvador.

Submitted by: Mayra Arteaga, El Salvador Clinic Coordinator

On His Path Commemorates World Clubfoot Day in El Salvador

World Clubfoot Day, which takes place annually on June 3rd to honor the work of Dr. Ponseti, pioneer of the non-surgical technique for clubfoot treatment, was a special time of celebration in our five clinics in El Salvador with patients, parents, nurses and doctors. We celebrated the hard work of the doctors and collaborators in the program; we also wanted to honor parents who make many sacrifices to take their children to the clinics for the treatment. We celebrated it with snacks, balloons, candies, as well the distribution of bookmarkers, informative materials to raise awareness of clubfoot and the Ponseti Method; the TV Telemas channel broadcasted a note of the celebration in the Dr. Villacorta Mazzini clinic in Sonsonate. Indeed promoting awareness of clubfoot to others and through media can bring a meaningful transformation in the lives of children. Global Clubfoot Initiative requested to all the organizations around the world that work with clubfoot to submit a photo that captures a highlight of the past year of work or what the organization stands for. Thankfully, the photo submitted by On His Path was chosen as the most representative of the hope that we all must have to see a world free of disability caused by clubfoot. It was certainly a special day to celebrate!

Submitted by: Mayra Arteaga, El Salvador Clinic Coordinator

 

El Salvador Clubfoot Program 2014 Annual Review

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“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19

On His Path has worked in El Salvador for three years with vulnerable children and families in the clubfoot program. The goal of the program is to give children the opportunity to live an active lifestyle and to play, run and kick a ball and be active members in their communities, as well as responding to Jesus’ example of healing the sick and his call to share the gospel. On His Path is working for those whose physical disabilities can be corrected or alleviated through medical treatment. In our five clinics around the country, we are providing training to doctors, the materials and braces for non-surgical treatment for children born with clubfoot by partnering with local public health care system so mothers and fathers do not worry that their children will never walk and give them the opportunity to celebrate their first steps.

Highlights of Last Year:

• 176 new children enrolled in treatment at On His Path clinics

• 571 casting visits

• 169 foot abduction braces distributed

• 539 follow-up visits in the five clinics

• A children’s book was created to encourage them to wear their braces at night which create the best results

• More than 300 families received counseling and the opportunity to receive the good news of The Gospel

• The Clubfoot Program was promoted in different spaces such as radio interviews in Agape Radio, Telemas TV, and in Health Units with Health Promoters to promote our work in the five clinics

• 81 doctors trained at the Third Ponseti Training and Congress in San Miguel facilitated by Dr. Sequeira and Dr. Rosales

• Video recordings of the Third Ponseti Training made available for doctors for training purposes as well as on YouTube

• New print material created for parents to read explaining clubfoot treatment as well as the use and care of the clubfoot brace

Prayer Requests for El Salvador Clubfoot Program:

• Additional health professionals trained

• Parent education and commitment to the treatment of children

• Patient data entered in a database

• Establish at least one more clinic to treat more children

• Persuade more doctors to adopt the Ponseti method to prevent disability caused by untreated clubfoot

In the year 2015, we want to trust God to fulfill his promise as stated in Isaiah 43:19: He will bless us with new opportunities, provision and direction in our organization as we continue looking for opportunities to expand our collaboration to make clubfoot treatment accessible to more children. Our goal is to help establish at least one more strategically located clinic across the country. This year, we will sponsor at least one medical training; our goal is to support the treatment of at least 175 children born this year with clubfoot in El Salvador. We will continue working with responsibility and integrity of the Ponseti Method to serve more children with high quality care and reach as many children as possible with the promotion of the program.

We are immensely grateful to the Lord for allowing us to serve the little ones in our country and all the generous donors who make the program possible and for joining us in our dream to eradicate untreated clubfoot in El Salvador.

Submitted by: Mayra Arteaga, On His Path Clinics

Josue’s Story

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Josue Abraham Sánchez Guzmán 

San Juan de Dios Hospital in San Miguel In Guatajiagua town, Morazán, 110 kilometers away from the capital city of El Salvador, Rosa Angelica Guzman was filled with excitement as the due date for her firstborn child approached. Rosa’s joy turned to sorrow when she knew that her child was born with bilateral clubfoot on January 4th, 2010. Rosa named her baby Josue Abraham. Rosa tried to find treatment for her baby boy right away. Rosa says, “Josue was born with his feet turned inward and I went to the clinic and they referred us to San Miguel Hospital where Josue started therapies, but I had no hope in the therapies. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to know about the Ponseti treatment with Dr. Gomez who has been working with On His Path program in San Juan de Dios Hospital in San Miguel and Dr. Gomez started to treat Josue. Josue was 9 months old when he started the Ponseti treatment with Dr. Gomez; Josue underwent with the casts and he had the tenotomy on November 26th, 2010. Rosa was so excited to know that Josue was receiving a treatment and see his once twisted feet straightened. Josue started to wear the foot abduction braces and Josue got used to them and continued with the checkups every three months. Now, Josue is able to walk and run as a normal boy.” Rosa says, “It has been a great happiness for me to see Josue get well; I thank God and Dr. Gomez for the help and effort. I am so grateful that I found out about the treatment. It was a miracle of God in my son’s life.”