A ray of hope for clubfoot children in Mangaluru

The Clubfoot Treatment Clinic at Wenlock Hospital in Mangaluru has completely cured 12 children of congenital deformity since its inception in December 2013.

District Programme Coordinator Priya said that the Department of Orthopaedics, jointly with CURE International India, started a clubfoot clinic at Wenlock Hospital.

A total of 33 patients have been enrolled for the treatment so far. Patients from Chikkamagaluru, Shivamogga and Sagar along with DK and Udupi have availed the treatment at the clinic.

CURE International India State Programme Manager Gopi Busanatham said that Clubfoot is a congenital deformity that severely twists the foot downward and inward making it impossible or very difficult for the child to walk. About 2,500 children are born with clubfoot every year in Karnataka.

The deformity can be corrected permanently using the Ponseti technique, which is accepted by the World Health Organisation (WHO). It uses a series of plaster casts over four to six weeks to correct the deformity followed by surgery if required and foot braces that should be worn for 23 hours per day over three months and then during night and while sleeping for three to four years to prevent recurrence.

“Follow up is important. After a few months, many parents do not get the child for treatment thinking that the deformity is cured. The treatment is free of cost for the patients,” said Priya.

“If the child is within two years, then clubfoot can be treated without surgery. If the child is above two years, then along with treatment, a few might require surgery. The Steenbeek Foot Abduction Brace are unique and provided only by the Cure International India. In fact, if the child has to go for a treatment in private clinics, then the parents will have to shell out Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 per visit and casting may cost around Rs 400.

The clinic in Mangaluru has four trained doctors and the clinic is open on Thursday.
A mother of a child who is undergoing treatment at the clinic said that the child who was born with deformity is cured of the problem within a short span of time.

Now the child uses  Steenbeek Foot Abduction Brace to ensure that the deformity doesn’t recur. “We were scared looking at the deformity in the beginning. However, the family members could heave a sigh of relief now,” she added.

Since CURE International India signed MoU with Karnataka government in 2010, a total of 1,971 children have been enrolled in various clubfoot clinics in the government hospitals in the state.

This includes 593 in IGICH, Bengaluru, 243 in Victoria Hospital, Bengaluru, St John’s Hospital, Bengaluru (173), Sparsha Hospital, Bengaluru (now closed 323). Such clinics also function in the district hospitals in Bellary, Kalburgi, Hubli, Belagavi, Mysuru, Hassan.

For details, contact Wenlock Hospital at 99000 55229 or CURE Clubfoot Karnataka State helpline at 9900468545.

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