Monday, October 22, 2012

Teaching, Teaching, Teaching...

Guinea Ponseti Clubfoot Conference...

Life on the ship is definitely in full swing. Screening is over, we have our patients, and now the surgeries have begun.

One of the things I love about Mercy Ships and my job is that we focus on leaving behind a legacy, not just of healed patients, but also of applicable knowledge and training within a medical community. As a part of this effort, I got to organize a Clubfoot conference in Conakry.

I didn’t realize how much work actually goes into organizing one of these so that's why I am super lucky to have a great team.

The Rehab Team
Dr Frank

Hanna was the logistical genius who made everything run smoothly
More than 20 local Guinean doctors and hospital staff members participated in the conference.
The all-day conference consisted of two parts – a theoretical presentation in the morning followed by a practical session in the afternoon. 

During the theoretical session we covered everything from what a clubfoot is to how to treat it.

By sharing this knowledge and then training them in the Ponseti method, we can give them a tool they can use in their own hospitals once we leave. 

In the afternoon, we covered our hands in plaster and taught them how to do the casting.
Dr Frank in action

We also demonstrated that the Clubfoot brace can be made with local supplies.

As a result of the conference, there will be three new faces working alongside us. Twice a week they will train and develop their skills, building on the foundation of knowledge they learned at the Clubfoot conference.

So what’s next?
Well God continues to stretch and challenge me. I will be going back to Iowa City (home of the Ponseti Method) for the International Clubfoot Conference, where I will be presenting.
God is good :)