TANZANIA—The Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation Tanzania (CCBRT), a Non-governmental (NGO) not-for-profit hospital, and Catholic Relief Services have synergized their efforts to create awareness and fundraise for free or low-cost clubfoot treatment.

The two organizations organized children who had undergone clubfoot corrective surgery together with their parents to commemorate World Clubfoot Day.

The Clubfoot Day is an initiative of the Ponseti International Association to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Ignacio Ponseti, the pioneer of the Ponseti technique for clubfoot treatment.

The organizations held different activities from social media campaigns to create awareness and raise funds to help increase access to treatment for the condition.

CCBRT is the largest clubfoot care and treatment provider in Tanzania as we enroll over 360 new cases annually, while up to 400 children attend our clubfoot clinic for monthly follow-ups.

CEO of CCBRT Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Brenda Msangi, expressed her profound gratitude to all partners who continue supporting CCBRT in treating clubfoot children.

She encouraged parents and guardians to seek early treatment for any child born with clubfoot.

“Clubfoot treatment is provided at a subsidized rate at CCBRT for children below the age of five years. This has been made possible with the support of various partners in transforming the lives of hundreds of children born with clubfoot and in turn avoiding permanent disability,” said Brenda.

CCBRT’s Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr. Prosper Alute, explained that clubfoot is the most common musculoskeletal birth deformity, affecting nearly 200,000 newborn children each year worldwide, 80% being in developing countries.

“Ponseti method is 100% effective when properly applied by a trained healthcare provider and is considered the ‘gold standard’ treatment, leading to an everyday, productive life”, said Dr. Alute.

Demystifying Club foot Disease

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), congenital disorders contribute to the deaths of an estimated 240,000 newborns worldwide within 28 days of birth each year.

Additionally, these disorders cause approximately 170,000 deaths in children between the ages of 1 month and 5 years.

Unfortunately, the majority of children born with serious congenital disorders reside in low- and middle-income countries.

Congenital disorders encompass various conditions that are present at birth, including cleft lip and palate, hernias, anorectal malformations, and clubfoot.

Clubfoot, in particular, is a common congenital birth defect, with an average prevalence of around 1 per 1000 live births, although rates may differ across countries.

If left untreated, clubfoot can result in permanent disability and limit educational, employment, and personal growth opportunities.

However, many children born with congenital disorders like clubfoot lack access to specialized institutional management due to the limited presence of trained healthcare providers within formal health systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Fortunately, the Ponseti method offers an effective and cost-efficient treatment for clubfoot. This minimally invasive approach consists of a correction phase and a maintenance phase, and it can be administered by trained mid-level healthcare providers even in resource-constrained settings.

One noteworthy initiative promoting the Ponseti method in Africa is the Africa Clubfoot Training (ACT) project, facilitated by the Global Clubfoot Initiative (GCI) with support from ReLAB-HS and MiracleFeet.

ACT aims to train healthcare workers at various levels in the effective nonsurgical treatment of clubfoot.

GCI recently launched its online ACT program through a webinar attended by 90 participants from over 30 countries. By continuously training and involving local practitioners,

MiracleFeet believes that the sustainability of clubfoot treatment programs in Africa can be ensured.

For all the latest healthcare industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, and YouTube Channel, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, and like us on Facebook.