Malengo Phiri, 14, is the second eldest in a family of 5 children. She likes to socialise with people and to watch movies but she has never been to school because she has congenital lower limb deficiencies – both of her knees are badly contracted – and Malangazi Primary School is too far from her home for her to be carried every day. Malengo has to be carried to travel any distance and cannot assist with any household chores or join her peers in most of their activities. Malengo’s parents have unsuccessfully sought help for her from various hospitals, but fortunately they heard about 500 miles’ outreach to Malangazi Health Centre in June and brought Malengo to be assessed.
Malengo’s prosthetist, Benadeta Singini, observed that although Malengo has knee contractures, she is able to walk if she bears her weight through her knees. She was given an appointment to come to 500 miles at MCH in July to get knee disarticulation prostheses. She was fitted in July, the whole process taking two weeks. She walked well with the prostheses without support although balance became harder as we increased her height to her natural height. Malengo needs crutches to use at home to gain confidence but we hope that when she returns for review she will be able to walk a reasonable distance without support.