Shafique Pirani, Clinical Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics, and John Norgrove Penny, Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Practice, each received a 2012 Humanitarian Award from the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA).
Dr. Pirani received the Award in recognition of his outstanding service to the underserved children of Uganda with clubfeet through the Uganda Sustainable Clubfoot Care Project (USCCP).
Dr. Penny received the Award in recognition of his outstanding service to the underserved children of the world with musculoskeletal disorders especially through CBM International and the Uganda Clubfoot project in Africa.
After meeting in Uganda in 1998, Dr. Penny and Dr. Pirani quickly set to work formulating a strategy to treat the estimated 10,000 children in the country who were living with neglected clubfoot and 1,500 children born each year with congenital clubfoot. Due to the lack of local orthopaedic surgeons, they enlisted the help of “orthopaedic officers”—Ugandan nurses and other allied health professionals—to oversee the nonsurgical Ponseti method of treatment.
Over the next several years, Dr. Pirani, Dr. Penny, and the USCCP continued to hold Ponseti method training sessions in Uganda. Thanks to their efforts, the Ponseti method for treating clubfoot is now successfully integrated into Uganda’s healthcare and higher education systems. To date, more than 4,000 healthcare professionals and students have been trained in the Ponseti method and it is used in more than 40 clinics throughout the country. Recently the World Health Organization recognized the success of the USCCP and recommended its model as a way of helping the disabled worldwide.
The Humanitarian Awards were presented by Dr. Peter Waters, President of POSNA, on May 19 at the 2012 POSNA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado.