Children are a metaphor of happiness, love and life but not all. 1.5 years old, malnourished, and physically-challenged Manahil was an exception. She was born to Shaqufta and Qasim – a poverty- stricken couple – with two congenital disorders.
While waiting for a vacant bed in Indus, Shagufta narrated, “I got married to Qasim in 2010. Qasim does embroidery for the living. We live in Mehmoodabad and have four children. Our first three children are healthy and normal. Manahil is the fourth one. She was born in 2016 in a private maternity home with two disorders: cleft palate and clubfoot. We took her to Jinnah Hospital but didn’t get any help and were referred to The Indus Hospital.”
At Indus Hospital Shagufta and Qasim were introduced to ‘Pehla Qadam’ program at the Physical Rehabilitation Center. While Manahil was being treated for clubfoot, the staff told her parents to meet with Dr. Sadaf Saeed, Consultant Plastic Surgeon for cleft palate surgery.
In only one year after their first visit to the Indus Hospital, Manahil’s life has completely transformed. Her cleft palate has been repaired and she is currently undergoing clubfoot treatment.
Shagufta and Qasim had never thought of seeing Manahil standing on her feet and eating like normal children. Shagufta said, “The treatment and care my daughter received is exceptional. Indus Hospital is a blessing for people like us.”
Indus Hospital initiated ‘Pehla Qadam’ (The First Step) in 2011 in collaboration with Amer Haider Charitable Foundation. Working closely with Ponseti International Association, The University of Iowa, USA – the program aims to create public awareness about clubfoot and its optimal management, to eliminate untreated clubfoot in Pakistan, to train Pakistani Orthopedic Surgeons in the Ponseti method to establish clubfoot services in Pakistan. With 900 children enrolled in the program, in 2017, 53 children successfully completed Ponseti Protocol for Clubfoot treatment.