Written By Fru Rita Ngum
The Northwest Regional Delegate of Public Health has applauded the CBC Health Services for improving on the lives of children born with the clubfoot deformity by treating close to 300 children with the deformity in the pilot phase of the project. Dr. Manjo Matilda was speaking at the start of a two day workshop on the treatment of clubfoot using the Ponseti technique organized by the Cameroon Clubfoot Care Project (CCCP) of the CBC Health Services at the Baptist Center Nkwen.
The workshop that took place on May 3-4, 2016 brought together 40 nurses and assistant physiotherapists from some 17 government, faith based and private health facilities in the Northwest, Southwest, West, Center and Littoral regions of Cameroon.
While presenting the over view of CCCP, the Project Manager Mr. Awa Jacque Chirac revealed that 1500 children are expected to be treated by the end of the project’s second phase in 2018. He appreciated the clinics that were involved in the first, stating that the active participation of clinics is very important in ensuring the success of the project.
Orthopedic Surgeon and Clinical Supervisor of CCCP, Dr. Ndasi Henry who was one of the facilitators at the training workshop, said even though clubfoot can be treated it remains one of the most common physical disabilities affecting children worldwide. He said correcting clubfoot using the Ponseti techniques does not necessarily need specialist but nurses and physiotherapist with some training to do it. He added that the Ponsite technique is a goal standard method which is cheap, effective and efficient.
Dr. Ndasi regretted the fact that some people are still unable to access treatment because of lack of awareness, poverty, myths and long distances to treatment centers amongst other reasons. He therefore charged the participants to create awareness, identify, refer and treat cases of clubfoot.
After acquiring knowledge on manipulation and casting, brace fitting, assessment amongst others, participants had a practical session during which the facilitators used cases of some children born with clubfoot to demonstrate how the Ponsite technique is used.
Cameroon Clubfoot Care Project is a CBC Health Services initiative funded by CBM Germany which started with the pilot phase in January 2014 with four clinics in the Northwest and Southwest regions. The second phase which started in January 2016 with services now being extended to the Far North, Center, West and Littoral regions to make a total of six regions. Also, the clinics are being scaled up from four in the pilot phase to 20 in the current phase. The project is aimed at providing care and treatment to children born with clubfeet deformity in Cameroon.
To enable the health facilities do their job well, CCCP has provided each clinic with Plaster of Paris (PoP), scoring guide, assessment forms and soft roll for their clubfoot clinics .The clinics have equally been given brochures and posters that will enable them raise awareness about the deformity
At the end of the workshop, the participants appreciated the organizers and attested that their knowledge on the treatment of clubfoot using the Ponseti technique has improved.
Dr. Nana Christopher, Orthopedic Surgeon at Mbingo Baptist Hospital charged the participants to be ambassadors of the project by working to bring down the high rate of clubfoot to Zero through the use of the Ponseti technique.