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Jun 4, 2021

World Clubfoot Day

It is a birth defect that affects more than two hundred thousand children each year, and on Thursday, countries across the globe recognized World Clubfoot Day. It is a day set aside to celebrate partners who have been working to heal children. In Belize, the World Pediatric Project has an established programme to provide preventative care for clubfoot babies—one that rarely involves surgery. News Five’s Duane Moody put together this story. 


Duane Moody, Reporting

In Belize, World Pediatric Project partners with community health workers in a national Clubfoot Casting program to give Belizean children born with clubfoot an effective non-surgical option for care. This ensures that they can go on to live full and productive lives, free of pain and disability.


Khandice Tillett

Khandice Tillett, Program Manager, World Pediatric Project

“Give every child with clubfoot a normal life. We don’t want the child to grow up and be in a wheelchair, unable to walk, unable to move around, unable to function as a normal child. It’s not any specific thing that causes clubfoot and that’s the thing that we need to explain to parents. It’s not your fault, it’s not something that you did anything wrong; it’s just something that occurs and it is important to know that it is likely to happen more in boys than in girls.”


There are currently about four children in the program, but since its establishment over twelve years ago, some fifty persons have received treatment through the program.


Khandice Tillett

“World Pediatric Project has an ongoing clubfoot program and I think it is important for us to spread awareness about that because a lot of the times, people would think that this is something that cannot be corrected or it is something that requires a surgery which is not necessarily so because we have a two-phase programme which is the casting and the bracing.  We have about four kids right now that are doing casting and bracing. It is free of cost; we coordinate everything for them in terms of the treatment, we fund the materials (we get all of the materials in) and we also have trained casters in the country that can do the vesting.”


With COVID-19, the service providers have had to get creative. Program Manager Khandice Tillett of World Pediatric Project explains the corrective process.


Khandice Tillett

“You would see that the child’s ankle is like bent in so the child is unable to walk and a lot of the times this can be corrected with just serial casting, which means that the patient would do like about six castings every week. The foot is placed into the corrected position little by little every week. And then after the casting, then there is a bracing phase where the child needs to us the braces for at least, I would say, up to two years.  At least eighty-five percent of cases can be corrected by serial casting and effective brace wearing. They have to use the braces for twenty-three hours a day. They take it off for one hour when they are showering, but they have to put it on back.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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