By Fru Rita
Some stakeholders in Mamfe area in Manyu Division, Southwest Region have lauded the initiative of the Cameroon Clubfoot Care Project (CCCP) for ensuring that children with clubfoot deformity are treated. The stakeholders were speaking in separate audiences granted to the CCCP team during a working visit to Mamfe. The objective of the visit, which took place on May 18, 2017, was to identify and seek possibilities of partnering with some stakeholders in Mamfe and establishing a clubfoot clinic with a health facility in Mamfe that has the staff capacity required for a clubfoot clinic.
The delegation from CCCP comprised of the Project Manager, Mr. Awa Jacques Chirac, Project Officer, Tina Ashiyo, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Ndzi Grace, Physiotherapist from Banso Baptist Hospital, Mr. Fanfon Timothy and the Communication Officer, Fru Rita. The CCCP team visited the Delegation of Basic Education, Full Gospel Health Center Mamfe, Arch Bishop of Mamfe, Radio Evangelium, St John of God Health Center, the Chief of Bureau Mamfe Health District and Nicky’s Foundation.
During the visit, the Project Manager who led the team presented the objective of the visit and an overview of the project. He noted that the project started in 2014 with 4 treatment centers and in the second phase services were extended from 4 to 24 clinics and from two to eight regions of the country. Given that the services are not effective in Mamfe, Mr. Awa solicited for partnership with each of the stakeholders to use their different services to identify, refer or treat clubfoot in order to collectively reduce the prevalence of clubfoot in the Division. He said after the partnership, selected physiotherapy staff from the health facilities will be trained on the ponsetti technique and consumables used for treatment will also be supplied to the facilities. The Physiotherapist, Mr. Fanfon Timothy added that the treatment of clubfoot is very effective with the use of the ponsiti technique which the project is currently using.
At the Diocese of Mamfe, the Arch Bishop expressed his satisfaction for having the team while noting that his facilities being the St. John of God Health Center Mamfe and Radio Evangelium are ready to collaborate with the project in treating clubfoot and creating awareness given that they are in the process of improving the orthopedic and physiotherapy services of the health facility. In Full Gospel Health Center, the Medical Officer who received the team noted that the health center is opened to working with the project and committed in treating clubfoot.
At both health centers, Mr. Fanfon Timothy made an assessment on the Physiotherapy Departments in both health centers to ensure that they meet up with the necessary requirements for operating a clubfoot clinic.
The Chief of Bureau at the Mamfe District Office, Mr. Amate Elime after listening to the presentation noted that the project is good because there are some children with the clubfoot deformity in Mamfe. He promised to invite the team to their coordination meeting to raise awareness on clubfoot to the heads of the 23 health facilities expected in the meeting.
On his part, the Divisional Delegate of Basic Education for Manyu, Mr. Bessong Patrick attested that clubfoot affects the social participation of children especially in schools, reason why it is a serious health concern that the delegation must be involved in awareness raising to ensure uptake of treatment. Mr. Bessong sought to understand the role of teachers, parents and the efficiency of treatment. Responding to his worries, the team noted that the treatment method is effective; parents need to take their children for treatment as it is the right of the child to be treated and teachers should raise awareness on clubfoot in school, identify and refer children with this deformity to appropriate treatment centers. The Delegate requested for brochures which he will distribute to the head teachers to raise awareness in their schools.
The team also had discussions with Nicky Foundation that works towards ameliorating the quality of life of children with disability and other vulnerable children in the aspect of health, education and livelihood in three Divisions of the South West Region. Given that the Foundation is already involved in identifying persons with disability, creating awareness and carrying out interventions, both parties agreed to work closely in the days ahead to identify children with clubfoot and also support in the treatment for very poor cases.
With the enthusiasm demonstrated by the stakeholders in Mamfe to reduce the prevalence of clubfoot in the Division, hopes are high that when all the ground work is laid and partnership commences at the different levels, the uptake of clubfoot services in Manyu Division will rapidly increase.