On Wednesday, 7 June 2023, Nedbank Namibia and FNB, each sponsored N$ 200 000 towards the Steps2Walk Outreach Project.
The project, which is hosted by the Lady Pohamba Private Hospital, will have doctors perform surgical care of disabling foot and ankle deformities, while simultaneously educating orthopedic surgeons in various treatment alternatives. Founded by American Doctor, Mark Myerson in 2000, the project is aimed at responding to the need for education and training of international foot and ankle surgeons who had little access to ongoing and advanced training in the specialty.
The week-long event will commence on 10 July to 14 July 2023 and will see delegates and surgeons from the United States of America, Argentina, Zambia, Eswatini, South Africa and Botswana, attend, and perform foot and ankle operations to disadvantaged patients in the country. Ten doctors from different state orthopedic departments across Namibia will also attend this unique training opportunity.
Speaking at the handover, Namibian Orthopedic Surgeon, and leading partner of the project in Namibia, Dr. Jacques H. Jonck, mentioned the importance of strong collaboration between the Ministry of Health and Social Services, and private health service providers.
“Last year, 17 patients received surgical treatment through the program and this year they aim to treat 20 patients. This program offers direct improvement in quality of life for these patients and through teaching doctors from the Southern African Region, they hope to indirectly reach many more,” he mentioned.
Lady Pohamba Private Hospital General Manager, Hannelie Botha, mentioned that the hospital was associated with three previous club foot projects and is proud to make a positive difference in patients’ lives yet again.
Speaking on behalf of Nedbank Namibia, as one of the leading sponsors for this year’s project, Head of Marketing and Communications, Gernot de Klerk, mentioned that Nedbank Namibia recognises quality healthcare as an imperative constituent for a healthy lifestyle.
“We are dedicated to aiding disadvantaged communities by addressing these unique challenges. The Steps2Walk Outreach Project plays a crucial role in enhancing mobility and improving the quality of life for individuals. By sponsoring towards the facilitation of these procedures with like-minded institutions, we bridge the gap between financial support and holistic well-being. We believe that investing in the health of underprivileged individuals not only empowers them but also enables them to take significant strides towards a brighter and more promising future for themselves,” De Klerk mentioned.
FirstRand Group Corporate Social Investment Manager, Revonia Job, mentioned that the bank’s foundation is familiar with the importance of foot and ankle health.
“The FirstRand Foundation recognises the importance of foot and ankle health. As parts of the body that are often overlooked, they are essential to our overall health because they keep us moving, regardless of age, gender, or fitness level. This is why we have partnered with Nedbank to provide specialist foot and ankle surgical care, to patients without access to this
type of treatment, free of charge. With this donation, we aim to ease the burden that comes with poor foot health before it impacts an individual’s ability to carry out their daily tasks which ultimately empowers them to be productive members of their communities,” Job said.