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Professor Chris Lavy led the first Africa Clubfoot Training (ACT) project training courses in Ethiopia last month, with an international team of orthopaedic surgeons and physiotherapists from the UK, Ethiopia, the Netherlands, Zimbabwe and Norway.

The team delivered a two-day basic provider course and one-day advanced provider course at the CURE Ethiopia Children's Hospital to train 31 surgical residents, doctors, physiotherapists, and nurses in the Ponseti method of clubfoot treatment.

The goal of the ACT project is to scale up clubfoot training capacity, not only in Ethiopia, but also across the region, so that more children born with clubfoot can access treatment.

Clubfoot is a common condition that occurs in approximately 1 in 700 births in Africa. If untreated, the condition deteriorates and children can be left with painful deformity.

ACT Training

The UK Department for International Development awarded the ACT project partners two years of funding in March 2015 through the Health Partnership Scheme to train more local instructors and to develop standardised clubfoot provider and instructor training materials for use throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

The University of Oxford (lead partner) are working with ACT project partners CURE Ethiopia Children's Hospital, the CURE Clubfoot Africa programme, and Global Clubfoot Initiative (a consortium of clubfoot provider and training organisations) to develop the resources, and also drawing on expertise from experienced clubfoot practitioners in the UK and Africa.

This course was the first of a series of pilot courses of the training materials which will continue through 2016, with the resources finalised by early 2017.

© Images courtesy of CURE Clubfoot

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