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Partner Clinics Recording Over 80% Success Rate of Clubfoot Treatment

The Supervisor of the Physiotherapy Services of the CBC Health Services, Mr. Nkwenti Alfred has commended the efforts of Physiotherapy Assistants involved in the management and treatment of clubfoot in the partner clinics of the Cameroon Clubfoot Care Project (CCCP). He was speaking during a 6-day supervisory visit by a CCCP monitoring and evaluation team to 15 health facilities in the Northwest, Southwest, Littoral and West regions..The CBCHS PT Supervisor was accompanied during the supervision tour by the CCCP Project Officers Tina Ashiyo and Ndzi Grace, Finance Officer, Ndong Irene, Communications Officer, Fru Rita Ngum and the driver, Fonyuy Victor.

The purpose of the visit, which took place from November 11-19, 2016 was to monitor progress of activities since the start of the second phase of the project and support project clinics in the provision of quality clubfoot services.

The visit started with clinics in the Northwest Region including Banso and Mbingo Baptist Hospitals, SAJOCAH Bafut and St. John of God Hospital, Batibo. The team proceeded to the Southwest Region where they visited the Mamfe District Hospital, Presbyterian General Hospitals in Manyemen and Kumba, and Baptist Health Center Kumba. In the Littoral region, the team visited Mboppi Baptisit Hospital Douala, Nylon District Hospital, Deido District Hospital, and Military Hospital Douala. The last lap of the visit was in the West Region with Bafoussam Baptist Health Center and Regional Hospital Bafoussam.

At each clinic, the CCC Project Officer, Tina Ashiyo chaired the discussion sessions and noted that the objective of the visit was to understand the challenges faced by clinic staff in the provision of clubfoot services, assess quality of services provided at treatment sites and support project staff on handling financial expectations. She noted that discussions were going to focus on the clinical aspects, data management, finance, awareness raising, general challenges and recommendations.

In lieu of the Clinical Supervisor of the Project, Dr. Ndasi Henry, the CBCHS Physiotherapist, Mr. Nkwenti Alfred handled the clinical aspects by going through the clubfoot management assessment forms of patients in each clubfoot treatment facility. He identified lapses on recording clubfoot manipulations and referrals amongst others, after which he made corrections and gave advice on how they can improve on the clinical issues.

The other CCC Project Officer, Ndzi Grace briefed the clinical staff on data management to ensure that all interventions were documented to ensure proper quarterly reporting to the funder, CBM. She appreciated the staff for prompt and timely submission of reports despite their workload. After briefing them on how to record data, the clinics agreed on different datelines to submit their reports to the Clubfoot Office in Bamenda.

On her part, the Finance Officer; Ndong Irene was interested in knowing how consumables from the CCC Project were managed. During discussions at each station, she advised those who do not yet have stock cards in place to institute their use so that it can always inform them on the quantity of consumables used and what they needed in stock. She also handled issues of subsidies during which she revealed that the Project subsidizes a particular amount to the treatment of very poor cases of neglected clubfoot who cannot afford treatment cost. Mrs. Ndong reminded them that the goal of the project was to ensure that everyone with clubfoot be treated.

M&E visit in the SW region
M&E visit in the SW region

The Communications Officer; Fru Rita Ngum schooled the staff on how to get parents commit to the treatment of their children with clubfoot deformity, taking consent from clubfoot patients or their parents before getting their pictures and on awareness raising. In the different facilities, the clubfoot treatment staff shared their strategies in raising awareness in different avenuessuch as churches, maternities, schools, radio and television amongst others. Fru Rita appreciated staff for their efforts in raising awareness and called on them to always channel any difficulties they faced in awareness raising to the Clubfoot office so that measures can be put in place to facilitate the process.

In all the facilities, the staff testified the supportive role from their hospital leadership in facilitating the provision of clubfoot services. This was evident in the presence of some of the leaders during the supervisory meetings.

PT Supervisor, Mr. Nkwenti Alfred putting the records straight during M&E visit
PT Supervisor, Mr. Nkwenti Alfred putting the records straight during M&E visit

With regards to challenges and recommendations from the clinical staff, they decried the fact that some parents default treatment which later results to relapse of the corrected feet. As a corrective measure, patients and caregivers are often called back and encouraged to follow-up treatment. Some centers recommended that more staff be trained on the ponseti technique of treatment for clubfoot. The CCC Project Officer noted all the recommendations and challenges with appreciation while promising to channel the report to the Clinical Supervisor and the Project Manager. It should be noted that in the treatment centers, they have so far received at least 2 and at most 15 patients with clubfoot deformity and have recorded over 80% success rate since the second phase of CCC Project started in 2016.

At the end of the visit, the team was visibly satisfied with the work done in the health facilities and encouraged the staff to continue with the work in order to improve on the lives of children and adults with clubfoot deformity by treating them using the ponseti method which for now remains the most standard method of treatment.

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