#National News

Gambia celebrates World Clubfoot Day

Jun 9, 2022, 12:24 PM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

Gambia Clubfoot Foundation last Friday joined the rest of the world to commemorate World Clubfoot Day.

The commemoration funded by Miracle Feet was held at the Youth Monument at Westfield. The celebration involved a short walk by clubfoot patients, treatment providers and parents with children born with clubfoot and the Minister for Health. The walk was to demonstrate the challenges and difficulties people with this condition face. The day is to raise awareness about clubfoot disability and its prevention using the Ponseti Method.

Ibou Camara, founder and national Coordinator Gambia Clubfoot Foundation, explained that Clubfoot is treatable in The Gambia and by Gambians for free, saying currently they have 183 children under the treatment programme, with 65% having fully recovered.

“Clubfoot treatment is challenging and we therefore thank parents with children born with clubfoot for their commitment to the program. We aim to bring the treatment under the Ministry of Health.”

Camara expressed their resolve to decentralise the treatment across the country, but lamented that they struggle with sustaining trained healthcare workers on the program.

He therefore appealed to the Ministry of Health to ensure the availability of funds for the sustainability of the programme.

“Nobody can guarantee that you will not have a child born with clubfoot,” he also said while further appealing for funds for the sustainability of the treatment program.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, Minister for Health, thanked Foundation for marking the event alongside parents of children born with clubfoot.

The treatment, he added, shows Gambia Clubfoot Foundation’s commitment, desire and love for country, adding that their treatment is yielding results.

“These children are saved. However, the abilities of elders with clubfoot who were not straightened are limited but thank you to Gambia Clubfoot Foundation, that will not be the case for these children,” he stated, while thanking the foundation for their initiative.

The  minister reminded that government cannot do it all alone, hence the need for all to collaborate to bring about the much needed development in the country.

Dr. Kajali Camara on behalf of Dr. Kebba Marenah, lead doctor in the treatment, said the foundation has facilitated the training of 22 Gambian healthcare workers that are now providing free clubfoot treatment in 3 health facilities in the country.

He spoke about their plans to train 5 Gambian health care workers and to expand Farafenni General Hospital to become a clubfoot treatment centre.

Dr. Camara also expressed their readiness to train midwives to be able to identify clubfoot at the earliest possible time.

Sheikh Tijan Jarju, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the foundation, assured that they will not relent in their efforts to ensure every child born with clubfoot in The Gambia is treated.

“We will also ensure any child born with clubfoot in The Gambia does not end up being disabled for their rest of their lives,” he added.

Chamba Mbye, a parent with a child born with clubfoot, recalled that when his child was born with clubfoot he was worried but was later told that it is treatable in The Gambia by Gambians.

“Even with the assurance that it is treatable in The Gambia by Gambians, I was not comfortable but thank the Foundation my child’s foot has straightened tremendously.”

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