March 26, 2021

Changing the lives of children with limb disabilities in Pakistan

In 2011, after a record fundraising year, we were excited to expand our program reach to new areas of the world in order reach a greater number of children living with untreated limb disabilities. 
We began with extensive research to ensure we selected a program partner that met our strict requirements, and expanded our operations into three new geographic regions. One of these programs was with Pakistan Society for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled (PSRD) in Lahore, Pakistan. 
 Young girl smiling and standing thanks to orthotic braces

Why Pakistan?

Decades of military rule, political and social instability, and armed conflict with neighboring countries have left major deficiencies in Pakistan’s infrastructure, despite its current rapid economic development.
This is especially true for families living in rural areas, where over 65% of the country’s disabled population resides.
Pakistan also has one of the highest rates of clubfoot, with an average of 6,000–7,000 cases, reported each year.  Clubfoot is a congenital condition in which one or both feet are twisted out of shape or position. Without treatment, the feet will remain twisted as a child ages, leading to pain, difficulty walking, and in severe cases, total loss of mobility.  It is estimated that only 15% of children born with clubfoot in the developing world receive access to adequate care.
We recognized this need for free orthopedic treatment in Pakistan, and thus began our relationship with PSRD. Thankfully, treatment for clubfoot is minimally invasive, and the condition can be fully reversed with a simple out-patient procedure followed several months of simple casting and braces for the foot to heal in the correct position.
 Young boy receiving free orthopedic care


Partnering with PSRD

Since its modest beginning in 1957 – a two room physiotherapy center in a local hospital – PSRD has developed into a comprehensive rehabilitation center for people with physical disabilities, offering a wide range of affordable medical, surgical, educational and rehabilitation services, particularly for people from the low income sector.
We work together to improve the quality of life of children living with physical disabilities by providing them with high-quality care that not only creates self sufficiency and a path to receive an education, but confidence, increased self-esteem, and hope for the future.
 Child with Crutches Smiling


Adapting to COVID

Like all of our programs, PSRD has been monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic. In 2020, PSRD was closed for five months while it was unsafe to provide any treatment.
After reopening and continuing services for four months, PSRD was forced to suspend activities once again when a severe COVID outbreak hit Lahore.
This cycle of opening and closing remains the reality for all of our programs across the developing world. As of March 5, Pakistan has administered less than one vaccination per 1,000 members of its population. 
Our programs, and those we serve together, remain the most vulnerable to COVID-19. We stand committed to continuing to provide proper PPE and sanitizing equipment to all programs that need it, via our COVID-19 Fund.
 Child Receiving Free Orthopedic Care


Working Together to Reach CoolKids in Need

PSRD remains our third largest program, in terms of number of children treated.
Since 2011 we have treated nearly 2,500 children in Pakistan with free prosthetic limbs, orthotic braces, and appropriately fitted wheelchairs. As the largest non-profit orthopedic service provider in Lahore, PSRD has an extensive referral system with health systems across the Punjab (Pakistan).
Using primarily radio broadcasts, PSRD is able to cast a wide net and spread awareness to families living in the most rural areas, identifying children from the poorest families in need of treatment.
Young girl standing with a mask on, smiling and wearing new orthotic braces 

Meet Taqdees

CoolKid Taqdees is just four years old. Taqdees was born with bilateral clubfoot, but her parents, whose annual income of less than $1,000 USD must stretch to care for four children, were unable to afford the medical treatment she needed.


Unable to walk independently, little Taqdees became dejected and was confined to the house. Luckily, her family learned of our program with PSRD where she visited earlier this year to receive free bilateral ankle foot orthotics to correct the position of her feet, and gait training sessions to learn how to walk.


Now Taquees can walk independently and confidently. Her story is just one of 2,500 thanks to our program with PSRD in Pakistan.


Make a life-changing difference. A donation of any amount will bring transformative mobility solutions to children in need in Pakistan.
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