Mr Philip Henman, a Consultant Surgeon based at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle upon Tyne, has volunteered through The Sandy Gall Afghanistan Appeal (SGAA) for over ten years in the field of children’s orthopaedics. The SGAA is a UK charity founded by ITN newsreader and journalist Sandy Gall and his wife which initially provided artificial limbs and rehabilitation for children and adults affected by war and more recently, works in rehabilitation clinics across Northern Afghanistan. The charity has been under the wing of a larger non-government organisation, the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) for the last five years.
Mr Henman has been particularly involved in a project with the SGAA and SCA to introduce the Ponseti method for clubfoot treatment. The SGAA and SCA organisations immediately adopted the technique and have developed a program of treatment, suited to local circumstances, which they have taught to colleagues in all the major cities in Afghanistan. This has successfully resulted in safe and inexpensive local treatment being provided for several hundred children with clubfeet. In addition to this, Mr Henman has also undertaken a successful project to sponsor a local surgeon to undergo specialist fellowship training in Children’s Orthopaedics in India. Together, they have worked towards a screening program for infant hip dislocation.