Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Medical Science (DMSc)


Department of Physician Assistant Medicine

First Advisor

Justin M. Gambini, DMSc, PA-C, DFAAPA

Second Advisor

Curt Stilp, EdD, PA-C

Third Advisor

Kara Roman, PA-C


An estimated 1.3 billion individuals live with disabilities across the world, however many of these impairments are developed throughout childhood and could be prevented or treated with prompt and early intervention. In Africa, nutritional deficiencies are a common reason for disability in pediatric populations, often due to a limited supply of resources and diets high in grains and beans. This results in the development of genu varum and valgum deformities, which are most commonly caused by rickets attributed to calcium deficiencies in these areas. The children often go untreated, evidently causing musculoskeletal disabilities and further complications of osteomalacia or fractures in their adult years. This stresses the importance of early medical management to help improve both the life quality and expectancy of these children. This can include dietary and supplemental options, surgical intervention, and prevention awareness to help improve the lives of these children and families.