All Women In India Ensured Access To Treatment For Clubfoot In Their New-Borns

CURE and RemitRadar, supported by Bharti AXA General Insurance and a leading global reinsurer, sign Letter of Intent for unique partnership to end clubfoot deformity in India.

CURE International, a global leader in the treatment of clubfoot, and their partner, CURE International India Trust (CURE India), together with RemitRadar and supported by Bharti AXA General Insurance and a top-tier global reinsurer, have a signed a Letter of Intent for a unique partnership. The parties desire to work together to create a “no cost to beneficiary“ insurance policy to all expectant mothers in India that ensures their children are able to access treatment for the clubfoot deformity. This 10-year program ensures all new-born children in India access to quality clubfoot treatment.

The statement of the Office of the President of India:

“The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the Global Clubfoot Conference being organised by the CURE India in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, in New Delhi today (November 1, 2017).

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that clubfoot is one of the most common orthopaedic birth defects. It can cause permanent disability if not treated early. This affects the child’s mobility and confidence. Inevitably, education and schooling suffer – and the child cannot fulfil his or her potential.

The President said that in India the burden of disability affects more than 10 million people. The differently-abled or Divyang as we call them deserve equal opportunities in all the avenues of life. Mainstreaming their social and professional experience is a commitment for all of us. Having said that, many of these disabilities are preventable or curable – which is often forgotten. Prevention, treatment and mainstreaming have to go in parallel.

The President said India is proud to have eradicated new cases of poliomyelitis. Polio was once a serious cause of loco-motor disability, but over the past six years we have not had a single case of paralytic poliomyelitis. This has been a major milestone in the history of public health not only in India but globally. It must motivate us to work towards eliminating other disabilities and other diseases and take on the challenge of clubfoot.

The President said he was happy to note that public hospitals are partnering with CURE International India to reach out to as many children as possible. The programme is now active in 29 states of India. He stated that despite these successes, we cannot ignore that at the current rate only 8,000 fresh cases are brought into the ambit of treatment every year. This is a small number if one considers the 50,000 children who are born annually in India with clubfoot. In 2022, India completes 75 years of its Independence. It should be a national resolve that by then every child born with clubfoot gets access to treatment services as soon as the condition is diagnosed.”

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What is clubfoot?

Clubfoot, the most common musculoskeletal birth defect in the world, is a deformity that severely twists the foot downward and inward, making walking difficult or impossible. While it cannot be prevented, it can be corrected, and the treatment is inexpensive. CURE India is specifically focused on ensuring the end of the disability of clubfoot in partnership with state governments in India. Launched in 2009, CURE India now has more than 210 clubfoot partner treatment clinics, with at least two clinics in every state in India, and has enrolled nearly 40,000 children since inception.

Every year in India more than 30 million women will become pregnant, and approximately one out of every 800 will give birth to a child with clubfoot. Having a child born with clubfoot brings stigma, discrimination, and lack of opportunities. Unfortunately, many simply do not know that treatment is available and accessible for their children. Within India, many believe their child was born with polio and cannot be treated. Thankfully, that is not the case and treatment is now available throughout the country.

CURE International has been able to serve over 102,000 children born with clubfoot globally and nearly 40,000 of those have been in India. With approximately 90 children being born every day in India with clubfoot, there is an enormous population who are seeking care. If care is not found early, treatment becomes more difficult and more costly both to the family and on society.

With this insurance platform, CURE International India Trust can work with the Indian government to help train providers in the Ponseti method of treatment, help manage the clubfoot clinics, and encourage and support families as they access treatment and complete the process. CURE also provides a 24-hour help line and raises awareness that clubfoot can be treated.

This endeavour is the first of its kind and sets to revolutionize the support and accountability provided as part of the push toward the goal of ending the disability of clubfoot by 2030. The parties look for this relationship to develop long-term, expanding beyond India to countries where there is currently no evidence of the minimally-invasive Ponseti method of clubfoot treatment available.

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