Giving birth to a child with clubfoot confronts parents in China with such challenges in the society that they may resort to abortion or abandonment. Far too many children do not receive adequate treatment leaving them with lifelong disability and its social consequences. Beggars with clubfoot deformity are out in the streets.
Congenital Clubfoot can be well corrected by using the successful Ponseti treatment method. Central component for the early correction are manipulations and plaster casts over a period of several weeks. Bracing is used to keep the correction and prevent relapse.
Much pain and suffering of children and their family can be avoided by successfully corrected clubfoot in the first months of life, so that these children – if no other health problems are involved - will be able to run and jump as every other child.
Well informed physicians can play an important role by advising parents well about the Ponseti treatment instead of recommending abortion or suggesting extensive surgery!
2. Vision, Goal, Objectives
Vision: Prevent problems caused by Congenital Clubfoot
Identified problems are: abortion, abandonment, social exclusion, lifelong disability, physical pain, low self-esteem, low education, poverty, difficulty to find work or a spouse.
Goal: Early identification, referral and effective treatment of Congenital Clubfoot
Building up capacity should be done through education, measures to raise awareness and transmission of knowledge and treatment skills in cooperation with local healthcare providers, government, related institutions and NGO’s.
3. Short Overview of status until January 2017
Clubfoot Clinics at 3 different locations have been established with Partners in Hope at the “Kunming Children’s Hospital”, the “Kunming Municipal Children’s Home” and the “Rehabilitation Center of the Yunnan Disabled Person‘s Federation”. In December 2016 the Clubfoot clinic at the “Kunming Children’s hospital” in cooperation with “Partners in Hope” ended, but the hospital continued on its own with Clubfoot treatment service.
At these 3 Chinese healthcare providers, Partners in Hope not only trained and supported medical personnel in Clubfoot treatment, but also managed work flow and appointments. Furthermore padding, plaster, other material and braces were provided for free and caregivers received guidance and support. Until now - January 2017 - more than 110 children with Clubfoot and/or another foot deformity are registered by Partners in Hope and lives had been changed. Among them are orphans from different Chinese orphanages.