Benadeta Singini, our senior clinician at 500 miles at MCH, gave us these accounts of Racheal Phakati (41) from Elemiya Lungu village and Samuel Nyumayo (56) from Yakobe Soko village, both in Mzukuzuku in Mzimba, Malawi. Racheal and Samuel both came to 500 miles because they were identified as needing our assistance through our systematic outreach programme when it held an assessment clinic at Embangweni Mission Hospital in July last year.
Racheal Phakati contracted polio in 1978 when she was 3. As a result, she has always suffered from weakness of the lower limbs and difficulties with ambulation. She was given a metal caliper by MAP (a government agency) in 1999 but she used it for only 2 years because it was not helping her. Since then she has been using crutches. Following her assessment at Embangweni Mission Hospital she attended her appointment at 500 miles at MCH in September 2016. Benadeta made her a jointed KAFO (knee ankle foot orthosis) and she now walks without crutches.
Racheal is a married woman with two children. She earns a living by trading items on a small scale. She told Benadeta that she is very happy with her new device because it will be easier for her to carry her stock because her hands are now free since she is no longer using crutches. She also thinks she will be able to take her business further afield because her mobility has improved. If you are reading this online you can click on the before and after videos to see the difference.