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Oxford surgeons have devised a course to train healthcare providers in Africa to effectively treat children with clubfoot in under resourced situations.

Baby with clubfoot

More than 30,000 children in Africa are born with clubfoot each year. Many thousands of these children will not receive treatment, as it is not available where they live.

 

We are very excited by the opportunity to completely change the lives of children and families, by training many more healthcare providers to treat more children with clubfoot. - Professor Chris Lavy

Without treatment, the condition becomes 'neglected clubfoot', a painful and severely disabling deformity. However, in up to 95% of cases, clubfoot can be treated successfully using the Ponseti method, especially if this is initiated early. The Ponseti method involves gentle manipulations of the foot and serial plaster casting over a period of about six weeks, then a very small outpatient procedure to divide a tight tendon. The child then needs to wear a brace for a short time to prevent recurrence.

We are raising £100,000 to deliver clubfoot training to healthcare providers in Africa, transforming the lives of thousands of children across the continent.

Professor Chris Lavy, at the University of Oxford, has worked with children with clubfoot for the last 20 years, both in the UK and Africa. He currently leads the Africa Clubfoot Training Project, a project that is strengthening training and delivery capacity for clubfoot treatment in 18 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, helping more children have access to much needed clubfoot treatment.

Chris says: "We are very excited by the opportunity to completely change the lives of children and families, by training many more healthcare providers to treat more children with clubfoot."

Researchers, surgeons, and physiotherapists from the University of Oxford and the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre have developed two courses for healthcare professionals - one to train providers to delivering treatment to children with clubfoot, and one to train new instructors.

Working with our partners across Africa, we devised a two-day Basic Clubfoot Treatment Provider training course based on the Ponseti technique, and designed especially for under-resourced situations.

In many African countries there are shortages of healthcare providers, and our course focuses on key essentials to accommodate this reality. We have shown that healthcare providers who have no specialised physiotherapy or orthopaedic training can effectively deliver treatment for clubfoot.

Our Clubfoot 'Train The Trainer' course addresses the shortage of healthcare providers further. It trains new instructors in the knowledge and skills necessary to teach the basic course.

We aim to give every child with clubfoot the opportunity to have treatment, as we roll out two courses across Africa, a Basic Clubfoot Treatment Provider training course and a Clubfoot 'Train The Trainer' course.

The 4-week campaign runs from Monday 7 November to Sunday 4 December, at https://oxreach.hubbub.net/p/clubfoot/.

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The 4-week campaign runs from Monday 7 November to Sunday 4 December.

 

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BIG BIG BIG THANK YOU!