CURE International India Trust (CIIT) began its service from April 2009 with a goal to eradicate disability caused by clubfoot in India and at present over 53,783 (till Dec 2018) children are enrolled in this program nationwide. With over 150 children being born with clubfoot in India every day, the role of CIIT in establishing free clubfoot clinics is very relevant and significant. Through this initiative, CIIT aims to enlighten the public that clubfoot can be treatedand neglected clubfoot leads to lifetime disability.
CIIT functions on behalf of CURE International, a global Healthcare NGO committed to establish teaching hospitals, wherever there is a need, and establish specialty programs globally. To begin with CIIT decided to work with clubfoot children in India as part of the CURE Clubfoot Worldwide (CCW). From its inception CIIT has worked primarily with government health care programs. This not only helps CIIT establish clubfoot clinics which provide care at no cost to families, but also allows CIIT to reach the poorest of the poor. With the partnering state governments, CIIT agreed to manage weekly clubfoot clinics with the orthopaedic department in government medical colleges and hospitals. In the partnership, government entities commit to assign doctors who will participate in the free clubfoot weekly clinics and ensure that the casting materials are available for the treatment.
Clubfoot is a deformity present from birth 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.
Clubfoot is apparent at birth. Despite its appearance, it is painless in infants. Eventually, however, clubfoot does cause discomfort and is a noticeable disability. Walking will become difficult or impossible, and the longer the condition goes without treatment, the more complicated and expensive correction will become. Persons with untreated clubfoot often experience tremendous ridicule, shaming, and discrimination.
Clubfoot can occur in one or both feet. Accordingly, these symptoms may be present in one or both feet.
- Foot twisted, usually inward and downward
- Increased arch, with heel turned inward
- Short or tight Achilles tendon
- Soft, “empty” heel pad with deep crease above the heel
- Calf muscles in the same leg may be underdeveloped
- Foot may be smaller than a typical foot
Named after late Dr. Igancio Ponseti, the Ponseti method is a specific method of manipulation to stretch contracted ligaments which uses a prescribed formula of serial casting, tenotomy (under local anesthesia), bracing, and follow-up visits. When an infant is recognized to have clubfoot, the Ponseti method is regarded as the most effective method to treat clubfoot. It is easy – it is performed in outpatient clinics.