India’s first clubfoot brace bank launched in Mumbai

India’s first clubfoot brace bank launched in Mumbai

Clubfoot is the most common musculoskeletal birth deformity affecting about 1 in 800 children

Credit: Wadia Hospital

 India’s first clubfoot brace bank was launched at the Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children at Parel in Mumbai.

The bank named ‘W-riddhi’  is now encouraging parents and doctors to donate used clubfoot braces to the bank, where they are refurbished and supplied to needy families at a very low cost of Rs 1,500  per child every month under the “each one treat one” scheme.

Clubfoot is the most common musculoskeletal birth deformity affecting about 1 in 800 children.

Untreated clubfoot is an important cause of long-term physical and emotional disability in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) due to lack of accessibility to quality healthcare and systemic inequities.

Around 80% of clubfoot children are born in LMICs and it is estimated that over 200,000 children are born with clubfoot each year and approximately 35,000 in India alone.

The bank was inaugurated by 8-year-old twins Riddhi-Siddhi, who have been successfully treated.

Wadia Hospital partnered with CURE Clubfoot Worldwide in 2011, a US-based NGO to establish a dedicated Clubfoot Clinic in the hospital premises to provide a protocol-based clubfoot treatment by training doctors in the Ponseti method, providing free clubfoot braces, establishing a prospective clubfoot registry, and setting a 24x7 dedicated clubfoot helpline for parent support.

Dr Rujuta Mehta HOD, Dept. Paediatric Orthopaedics, Wadia Hospital, said, “Our vast database of over 1500 patients is uploaded in-house by Wadia staff on a special online portal of the International Clubfoot Registry (ICR), hosted by the University of Iowa, USA. We are collaborating with international universities (the University of Toronto and University of Oxford) for various research projects related to developing outcome tools and treatment guidelines for late presenting clubfoot.”

“Over the past 10 years, we have treated over 1500 children with clubfeet, making it one of the largest clubfoot treatment centres in India. Besides idiopathic clubfeet, we have developed special expertise in treating syndromic clubfeet, atypical clubfeet, and children who present with untreated clubfoot after the walking age. The aim is to provide uninterrupted treatment with the introduction of clubfoot braces at an affordable cost,” concluded Dr Minnie Bodhanwala, CEO of Wadia Hospital.