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Ponseti One on One Intensive Training – September 2017

The Ponseti Technique has been adopted and used in the treatment of clubfoot deformity in Cambodia since 2003. NextSteps has been supporting this program since 2015. It aims to have all clubfoot treated in the country through public hospitals. The Rotary Club of Balmoral supports the program by sponsoring surgeons from different regions to be trained in the Ponseti technique. The training program commenced in September 2017 and will provide intensive training targeting 2 to 3 different regions in Cambodia during 2017-18. Dr. KHIEV Vicheth, from Stung Treng provincial hospital is the first trainee. The training includes 2 weeks training at the National Paedatric Hospital in Phnom Penh, and one week back at the trainee’s hospital with supervising trainer.


2017 Surgical Mission to Kratie – 8 to 11 June 2017

The sixth surgical mission was held between the 8th and 11th of June. This year Dr Vuthy and his team from the National Children’s Hospital in Phnom Penh provided treatment out of the Kratie Provincial Hospital. Once again we are delighted to acknowledge the sponsorship of GECKO Kinderhilfe Südostasien e.V, Germany and wish to pass on our thanks to Mr Krystof Cihar, GECKO’s Cambodian representative.

The Team of surgeons, anesthetists, nurses and other support staff travelled to Kratie by bus and working with the local medical staff of the Kratie  Provincial Hospital, they assessed and treated children with cleft lip-palate, congenital- trauma limb deformities, burn contractures, tumors and other general pediatric physical impairments. The mission will also assessed and treated children suffering from ear, nose & throat diseases.

61 surgical procedures were completed during the mission, for children from Kratie and neighbouring provinces.

Clubfoot Training Workshop – February 24, 2017

On 24 February 2017, a Clubfoot Care Cambodia Program one-day training workshop was held at the National Paediatric Hospital in Phnom Penh, sponsored by NextSteps and the Balmoral Rotary Club (Brisbane)

The workshop was attended by 40 health professionals, including surgeons, nurses and physiotherapists from clubfoot clinics operating in public hospitals and rehabilitation centres across the country.

The purpose of the workshop was to refresh participants’ knowledge and sharpen their technique in the Ponseti Method for the treatment of clubfoot.

Participants also shared their experiences, successes and challenges in their daily practice.

A highlight of the workshop was the launch of the International Clubfoot Registry, an online database, for use by all clinics to manage their clubfoot patients.

The implementation of this registry will enable, for the first time, data to be gathered on an ongoing basis, about the type, number and treatment of clubfoot cases occurring in Cambodia.

This database was enthusiastically received and supported by all representatives at the workshop. All agree that communication between the clinics and rehab centres, under technical supervision from the Clubfoot Care Cambodia Program, is critical to the success of the program. Congratulations to Dr Chhoeurn and his team, and those that participated, for a successful day.

2016 Surgical Mission to Oddar Mean Chey – 9 to 12 June 2016

The 2016 surgical mission to the Oddar Mean Chey province in the north west of Cambodia commenced on Thursday 9 June with an 8 hour bus trip from the National Pediatric Hospital in Phnom Penh to the Oddar Mean Chey Referral Hospital. The team of surgeons, anesthetists, nurses and other support staff commenced consultations with the assembled families shortly after arrival. 156 patients were examined and their conditions assessed for suitability for surgery over the following two days. 54 surgeries were conducted on Friday and Saturday comprising: 7 cleft lip and palate; 3 clubfoot cases, 6 congenital and acquired limb deformities; 10 soft tissue tumor cases, 3 burn contractures cases, and 25 general pediatric Surgeries (hernia, hydrocele, cryptorchidism etc.). All patients were safe following surgery.

Mission ParticipantsArrival, parents waiting








Organising Patients

A chance to change a lifeSurgery









Major Sponsor – 2016 Surgical Mission 

Krystof Cihar of GECKO presenting the 2016 surgical mission sponsorship
Krystof Cihar of GECKO presenting the 2016 surgical mission sponsorship

GECKO Kinderhilfe Südostasien e.V, Germany is the major sponsor of the Next Steps 2016 surgical mission to Otdar Mean Chey scheduled  for  the 9th to the 12th of June.  Through the great work of GECKO’s Cambodian representative Mr Krystof Cihar, GECKO first became the major sponsor of the surgical missions in 2015. Founded in 2012, GECKO pursues exclusively charitable purposes which support and promote education and sports projects, provide medical care and counseling and assist with the implementation of aid projects on site. GECKO’s goal is the development, help and assistance of needy people, children and young adults, primarily in South-East Asia. We are most grateful to GECKO for their ongoing support.

The 2016 surgical mission is expected to receive around 150 patients and their families for consultation and treatment of various medical ailments such as maxillofacial and limb congenital anomaly (cleft lip-palate, clubfoot, amniotic band, syndactyly, polydactyly), burn scar contracture, traumatic and war wound aftermath, soft tissue tumors, and other general pediatric conditions.

Ponseti International Training 

Dr Vuthy Chhoeurn meeting Dr Ponseti in 2006
Dr Vuthy Chhoeurn meeting Dr Ponseti in 2006

Ponseti International is based in Iowa, USA with a mission to train orthopaedic surgeons in the Ponseti method of clubfoot treatment and help advise local doctors about how they might develop clubfoot programs in their countries. In April 2016, we were approached by Ponseti International and asked to nominate a suitable Cambodian surgeon to participate in a two week training program with Dr. Jose Morcuende in the Ponseti clubfoot clinic in Iowa. NextSteps Executive Director, Dr Vuthy Chhoeurn received training and met the late Dr Ponseti in Iowa in 2006.

On behalf of the Cambodian Society of Surgery and the Cambodian Orthopedic Association, Dr Vuthy Chhoeurn nominated Dr HENG SOPHEAa Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon from the the Department of Surgery of the National Pediatric Hospital in Phnom Penh Cambodia. Dr HENG will travel to Iowa in August 2016 with the costs of travel and accommodation supported by Ponseti International through a grant from the Ronald McDonald House Charities. We are most grateful to Ponseti International for this opportunity and for the sponsorship provided by Ronald McDonald House.

2016 Surgical Mission

The 2016 Outreach SurOtdar Mean Cheygical Mission is planned for June 9 to 12 at Oddar Mean Chey Province in the remote north west of Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge rebuilt their former bases in the Dangrek mountain range area, along the border with Thailand and made Anlong Veng District in Otdar Mean Chey their main “capital” from 1989 till 1997. Otdar Mean Chey Province is one of the most landmine-ridden areas in Cambodia. Otdar Mean Chey Province had a population of 185,443 in 2008.  Samraong is the capital of Otdar Mean Chey Province with a population of between around 20,000 including the surrounding communities. The provincial hospital in Samraong was built in 1963 and is small with limited facilities.

GECKO Kinderhilfe Südostasien e.V, Germany has agreed to be a major sponsor of the mission again in 2016 and we thank them for their continued support.

25 to 30 Surgeons, Anesthetists, Nurses and other support staff will travel from the national Children’s Hospital in Phnom Penh to Samraong by bus, with their essential equipment and medical supplies. The trip will take around 8.5 hours. The provincial hospital will publicize the coming mission in advance and the bus will be met by around 100 patients and their families hoping for treatment. Consultations and preparation of the facilities will commence on the afternoon of the team’s arrival, with surgeries beginning the following day.

2015 Clubfoot Program

Clubfoot Infant 2

 In 2015 the early intervention clubfoot program treated 159 new patients (babies and infants under 2 years of age) and 498 existing patients with follow-up consultations and treatment, using the non-surgical Ponseti method of manipulation and casting. The program supported 10 clubfoot clinics based in provincial hospitals throughout the country, where local surgeons and medical staff are trained in the early identification and treatment of clubfoot using the Ponseti procedures.

Clubfoot is the most common disabling orthopedic condition in Cambodia, with the incidence in Asian countries reported at a range of 1.3- 2 /1000 live births. With approximately 370,000 new-born babies in Cambodia per year, it is estimated that between 480 and 740 of those will be born with clubfoot. Eighty percent of clubfoot children are born to poor and low income families and such families traditionally do not take children with non-life threatening ailments, such as clubfoot, for treatment. This is particularly so in provincial and rural areas. Impediments include the cost of travel, time away from income earning activities and lack of awareness that treatment is available. Shame and embarrassment is associated with the impairment and is considered a curse on the family. Key to the success of this project is the need to raise awareness within the local population, particularly in rural and provincial areas, that these ailments can and should be treated early.

2015 Cleft Care Program

In 2015 this program supported the mothers of 39 babies born with cleft palate/lip impairments by funding the purchase of bottles and molded teats to assist their feeding before and after surgery. In total we supplied 77 bottles and 73 teats to families who would not otherwise have the means to access this equipment for their child.