Club foot is a disorder in which babies are born with one or both feet turned inwards and pointing down. If left untreated, as many children were in the early days of the Project, the child will be disabled and start walking painfully on the top of the foot.
In the Club Foot Clinics set up by the Project the Ponseti method is used to successfully treat club foot in infants without the need for invasive surgery.
Jones, the trained project worker, holds a Club Foot Clinic every Friday at the Project office, and also visits centres near the families so they do not need to spend weeks away from their work.
Ideally treatment is started soon after birth. Every week for between 4 – 7 weeks the baby’s foot is gently manipulated, and a plaster cast applied to keep the foot in the improved position.
Even when well corrected, clubfoot has a tendency to relapse until the child is about 4 years old. For this reason a Foot Abduction Brace is worn day and night for at least 3 months and, after that at night for 3 to 4 years.
The treatment of club foot is a long drawn out process requiring a lot of perseverance on the part of the parents, and commitment from the Project staff.
Clinics for children with Epilepsy
The Project provides regular medication for about 30 children whose epilepsy is particularly difficult to control.
The Project needs money for:
- Plaster of Paris
- Surgical blades
- Local anaesthetic
- Motorcycle costs (fuel, repairs, licences, insurance)
- Salary of the technician
- Drugs to treat epilepsy and heart disease