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February-March 2020 | Articles

Ignoring clubfoot can lead to lifelong disability

Ignoring clubfoot can lead to lifelong disability

Clubfoot is a condition which can have major consequences if not treated straight away. Now, a new fund-raising initiative is being launched in the UK to support Dr. Mathew Varghese’s work in India

Clubfoot is a congenital deformity which severely twists the foot downward and inward, making walking difficult or impossible.

Dr. Mathew Varghese has been at the forefront of the clubfoot disability elimination programme in India for the past three years.

And now a fund-raising initiative to support over 300 clinics in the country is coming to the UK.

Rotarian Raman Bhatia is the man behind the launch of the charity Clubfoot India (UK) which is chaired by the Marquess of Reading, with Hélène Frost as its chief executive.

Raman is planning a launch event in London this March, and is keen to hear from Rotarians in Great Britain & Ireland who would be interested in supporting the project.

The ability to change something for someone gives so much joy. I don’t think anyone can be as happy as I am.”

Dr. Varghese has trained more than 4,000 medical professionals how to treat clubfoot through the Ponseti Method.

This uses a series of plaster casts over four to six weeks to correct the deformity. That is followed by a patient wearing foot abduction braces for 23 hours a day for the next three months.

The Delhi doctor pointed out that two out of every 1,000 children are born with clubfoot around the world, but this can be treated and healed if caught quickly. In India, more than 50,000 children are born with clubfoot every year.

The UK charity is supporting efforts in India to ensure free treatment for the children, as well as promoting the impact of clubfoot with the knowledge that the condition can be treated, but if neglected, it can lead to a lifetime of disability.

Dr. Varghese has trained more than 4,000 medical professionals how to treat clubfoot through the Ponseti Method.

Dr. Santosh George, Director of Cure International India Trust, which oversees the clubfoot initiative pointed out how there are more than 65,000 children currently receiving the latest modern treatment. “Many of them are already walking, running and playing like any normal children,” he said.

“At the same time, there are thousands of children across India waiting for treatment and, with Rotary’s help, we can immediately start their treatment that will completely transform their lives.”

As for Dr. Varghese, he admits he loves his work. He said: “The ability to change something for someone gives so much joy. I don’t think anyone can be as happy as I am.”


For more information visit:
Website: www.clubfootindiauk.org
Email: ramanbhatia07@gmail.com

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