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Jenna Maloka (SpineFuSeTeam@gmail.com)
- Gordon Closter (Trinity '09),
- Melissa Erickson (DUMC),
- Jennifer Glasgow (Pratt ‘01, Fuqua '10),
- Justin Healy (Trinity '10),
- Jenna Maloka (Pratt '09),
- John D.C. Miles (Trinity ‘00, Fuqua '10)
In a developing country, because proper medical assistance is often lacking, a debilitating spinal injury or deformity could result in the loss of one's livelihood and also the loss of one's ability to provide for his or her family. The gulf between modern medical capabilities and what remains available to those who populate the developing world is tremendous, as nearly 40 million orthopedic patients remain untreated and will continue to suffer until help is available.
SpineFuSe hopes to provide a simple system for spinal fixation currently unavailable in developing countries. The system will either be an off-patent product that can be manufactured inexpensively and shipped to areas of need or acquired through a partnership with a leading medical device manufacturer to utilize obsolete inventory, manufacturing drawings and regulatory approvals. Coinciding with providing this technology, we will be implementing an educational initiative, teaching local surgeons how to perform these procedures.
With this in mind, we will be able spread both the technology and the training necessary to help establish sustainable healthcare for the spine throughout the developing world. We are to begin work at New Mulago teaching hospital in Kampala, Uganda, where we estimate that a total of eighty surgeries will be completed in the first year. Further development will expand to Cameroon, Nepal, and other developing countries.