STEPS Botswana will this coming weekend commemorate the World Clubfoot Day. The day is celebrated annually on June 3. The day focuses on raising awareness and support for children born with this relatively common but treatable condition.
The date was chosen to commemorate the birth date of Dr Ignacio Ponseti (1914 -2009), the developer of the Ponseti method of clubfoot treatment.
STEPS Botswana is a non-profit organisation focusing on improving the lives of children born with clubfoot in Botswana. Approximately 90 children are born annually with clubfoot.
The medical term for clubfoot is Congenital Talipes Equinovarus (CTEV). It is a congenital birth defect involving one or both feet. The affected foot appears to have been rotated internally at the ankle to point downwards and inwards. The cause of clubfoot is still unknown. Without the proper treatment, a child can be disabled for life.
The theme for this year’s commemoration is ‘WE BELIEVE DREAM TEAM’. This day is an important step in furthering global awareness that clubfoot is a treatable deformity.
“Not only do we celebrate the life and contributions, of Dr Ponseti, but we help further his belief that every child born with clubfoot is entitled to treatment using this low cost, non- invasive approach,” says a statement from STEPS Botswana.
The Ponseti method is a non-invasive treatment that includes gentle manipulation of the foot followed by the application of plaster cast, tenotomy (a minor procedure to snip the heel tendon) and bracing until age four.
Clubfoot is the most common musculoskeletal birth deformity affecting more than 200,000 newborn babies in the world each year, 80% of which are in developing countries. There are also thousands of children and young adults who are living with this debilitating condition worldwide.
About Steps Botswana Trust
STEPS Botswana Trust in collaboration with the government of Botswana runs three weekly clubfoot clinics in Botswana viz: Gaborone - Princess Marina Hospital (Wednesdays); Mahalapye - Mahalapye Referral Hospital (Tuesdays); Maun Letsholathebe II Memorial Hospital (Wednesdays) with more than 200 patients.