What is Clubfoot?
Clubfoot is a complex, congenital deformity of the foot also known as ‘congenital talipes equinovarus’ (CTEV) caused by the abnormal development of a baby’s bones, ligaments and muscles whilst in the womb. Visually, the foot affected by clubfoot appears to be twisted inwards and downwards.
Clubfoot and its prevalence in Bangladesh:
Every year in Bangladesh an estimated 4 000 children are born with a clubfoot deformity (a condition where the feet are turned inside at birth).
Left untreated, the condition leads to lifelong deformity causing individual disability and potential unproductively. This causes the children to grow up as burdens of the family and ultimately leads to significant poverty. Many of the beggars in Bangladesh have clubfeet.
The world wide standard of treatment is now the Ponseti Method: it is effective, inexpensive, and gives outstanding results. Worldwide it has a 95% success rate. Through progressive casting, the soft, pliable tissues of the foot are corrected as shown below. There is no invasive surgery. Children enroll as young as one month.
Walk for Life – The Clubfoot Program of Bangladesh:
Walk for Life is a initiative of the Glencoe Foundation (founder and chairman Colin Macfarlane). Since 2009, Walk for Life is providing clubfoot treatment to the children of Bangladesh under the age of three by the Ponseti Method that does not require invasive surgery. Presently operating 34 Walk for Life Clubfoot Rehabilitation center throughout the country. Walk for Life won BMJ Award in 2016.