Ortho Humanitarian Initiatives: the Background
Musculoskeletal and orthopedic conditions are prevalent worldwide, and their impact is pervasive, being the most common causes of physical disability and severe long-term pain. Around the world, hundreds of millions of people are affected by musculoskeletal conditions. In addition to their physical effects, these conditions have social and psychological consequences.
- Conditions leading to back pain
- Conditions leading to neck pain
- Ligament tears
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Lifelong pain and disability are often the result of untreated musculoskeletal and orthopedic conditions. For the millions of people in poor countries affected by musculoskeletal and orthopedic conditions, their inability to pay for care and associated expenses leads to such consequences. The ratio of doctors who are able to treat such conditions to patients who have them in countries such as the Philippines can be as high as one doctor for every 50,000 patients. The availability of resources plagues not only patients but also physicians themselves, who often have to sacrifice their own salaries to take care of patients instead of caring for their families. Access to the latest information, equipment, and medications can pose significant difficulties for physicians in their efforts to provide the best and most cost-effective evidence-based therapies for patients in such resource-challenged places.
Jacksonville, Florida, is home to Orthopedic Humanitarian Initiatives, Inc., or Ortho HI. Our goals are summarized in our mission statement, which is also our motto: “Assist the neediest, educate for the good, support research that helps.” We engage in activities that aim to help indigent patients with various musculoskeletal and orthopedic conditions who cannot afford their treatments. We help physicians access knowledge, information, and the materials they need to help economically challenged patients. We also provide support for researchers who are attempting to develop knowledge that will potentially help patients in poor countries, thereby accelerating the implementation of technology that is useful in such settings. We can achieve these goals stated in our mission statement and motto by harnessing the generosity of people from all over the world, regardless of the amount they donate.