Operation Walk is a not-for-profit, volunteer medical service organization whose purpose is to provide surgical treatments to patients who live in developing countries and have little or no access to care for arthritis or other debilitating bone and joint diseases.
For a week in November 2018 a team of 60 health professionals including surgeons, anesthetists, nurses, physiotherapists, medical device reprocessing specialists and support workers will travel to Managua, Nicaragua to perform over 70 knee and hip replacements for the local community. This will be the seventh mission for the Operation Walk Winnipeg team and the sixth to Nicaragua.
Nicaragua is one of the poorest nations in the western hemisphere. Most Nicaraguans do not have the luxury of an automobile and at a minimum must walk long distances to work or to the nearest bus route. Much of the country is mountainous and buildings are not constructed with thought to those with limited mobility. The patients that present to Operation Walk have been suffering from debilitating arthritis for years and many have lived with pain for decades. The determination and drive shown by these patients are amazing. To see a patient who knows no English speaking to her healthcare team pointing at their new knee replacement with tears rolling down her cheeks saying “Gracias, Gracias, Gracias” is a powerful and moving moment for everyone.