3,700 kids in Maha risk permanent disability to clubfoot every year
Dr Rujuta Mehta said though 50,000 children are born with clubfoot in India, there is an lack of awareness about the Ponseti method to cure the defect.mumbai Updated: Jun 13, 2018 00:05 IST
Lack of awareness related to clubfoot disease — a birth defect where one or both feet are rotated inwards and downwards — puts more than 3,700 children at risk of permanent disability every year in Maharashtra, said doctors from BJ Wadia Hospital’s clubfoot clinic in Mumbai.
The clinic, one of the few that specialises in the diseases, has treated 1,102 paediatric clubfoot patients with 95% success rate inthe past seven years.If untreated, the defect forces children to walk on the side of the foot and grows into a functional disability.
Dr Rujuta Mehta, head of department for paediatric orthopaedics, who heads the clinic, said though 50,000 children are born with clubfoot in India, there is an lack of awareness about the Ponseti method to cure the defect. The breakthrough treatment has 95% success rate.
“The exact causative mechanism (of the disease) is still unknown,so it can’t be prevented. Lack of awareness regarding the need for early intervention is one of the principal reasons for late presentation and neglect in our country,” she said.
In Ponseti method, bones of a patient are gently manipulated using serial casting for a period of four to six weeks to achieve a complete correction. The method has long lasting effects and doctors claimed it gives the child a chance of being healthy and able bodied. Dr Minnie Bodhanwala, CEO, said the hospital acts as a nodal center of the state to offer affordable treatment and care for needy patients.
“The clubfoot clinic was a joint venture between Bai Jerbai Wadia hospital for children, Mumbai, and CURE International India Trust in 2011. In the past 7 years, 1,102 children received quality treatment at the clinic and we would like cure more kids with the defect.”
The hospital recently celebrated Clubfoot Day with its patients by organiing a magic show and other fun activities to spread awareness about the defect.