Saturday, October 23, 2021

Early treatment for clubfoot pressed

BAGUIO. Doctor Jean Leung tends to patient at the newly open clubfoot clinic at Benguet General Hospital offering free casting and bracing treatment every Monday from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. (Contributed photo)

LA TRININDAD, BENGUET -- CLUB deformity, when treated early may help a child to walk normally.

Doctor Jean Phere Leung, orthopedic consultant, said clubfoot is a congenital limb deformity and explained treatment must be made in the first few months of their life for better treatment results.

With the goal of giving hope to children with clubfoot, Leung said Benguet General Hospital (BeGH) in La Trinidad, Benguet in cooperation with Miracle feet and Philippine NGO Council (PNGOC) on Population, Health and Welfare Inc. set up free clubfoot clinic on March 29 at Room 33, OPD section of Surgery and Orthopedics of the hospital providing free casting and bracing treatments to all children with clubfoot.

The first in the Cordillera, he added the clubfoot clinic offers free casting and bracing treatments to children with clubfoot every Monday from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

“The strategy here is to run free 2030. Since we don’t know what causes it, we cannot eliminate clubfoot but if you can get treatment for clubfoot patients at the early time, hopefully by 2030 ma-improve natin,” Leung added.

Leung said clubfoot is one of the leading causes of physical disability in the world and it is one of the most common severe birth defect of the limb where in the feet are turned in-wards and up-wards adding those with clubfoot experience severe consequences of painful walking, limp, deformity, discrimination, neglect, inequality and abuse.

“The good news is that it can be effectively and inexpensively treated with the Ponseti Method,” he added.

As cure, the use of Ponseti Method which involves casting and surgical tenotomy and abduction bracing. He pointed out Ponseti, an Italian Orthopedic surgeon in Iowa who development the method since the 1950s with his results on his area had results of 90 to 95 percent success rate.

Leung said for the first three months, the patient needs to wear the brace for 23 hours every day, in the next three to five years the brace is utilized every night while sleeping.

In June 30, 2018, the Philippine Clubfoot Program a partnership between PNGOC and MiracleFeet was inked. And on January 29 this year PNGOC and Miracle feet partnered with local health provider this include BeGH through a memorandum of agreement was signed followed by trainings on the following month and last Friday the clubfoot clinic in BeGH was set up.

In BeGH alone, at least 20 patients every year born in the hospital have clubfoot and in the Philippines, an estimate of 3,500 children every year born with the congenital limb deformity.

During the launching of the clubfoot clinic last Friday, representatives from 13 Municipal Rural Health Units of Benguet and 10 hospitals in the region were present including Baguio General Hospital, Luis Hora Memorial Regional Hospital, Benguet General Hospital, Atok District Hospital Dennis Molintas District Hospital, Northern Benguet District Hospital, Itogon District Hospital, Kapanga District Hospital, Lepanto Hospital and Lutheran Hospital.

The group session also tackles strategies and planning to use the Service Delivery Network Framework of the Department of Health and incorporate the ClubFoot Program as one of the activities.


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