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Masvingo Provincial Hosp commemorates World Clubfoot Day

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Masvingo Provincial Hosp commemorates World Clubfoot Day

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Ellen Mlambo
MIRROR REPORTER 


MASVINGO-The Rehabilitation Department at Masvingo Provincial Hospital held belated World Clubfoot Day commemorations at the centre on Thursday. 
Club foot is a treatable hereditary abnormality where infants are born with feet bent inwards or upwards.
The abnormality, can be treated using the Ponseti method developed by Spanish-American physician Ignacio Ponceti in the 1950s. The other treatment method is an expensive operation.
Ponceti was born on June 3, and the commemorations are held on his birthday, said the acting head of the rehabilitation department, Dr Tatenda Mutyiri.
The staff, mothers and grandmothers with their children undergoing clubfoot treatment attended the commemorations. 
The Ponseti treatment method is free at provincial hospitals and sponsored by three donors, CURE and Miracle Feet, which cover administrative costs such as plasters and transport for mothers who cannot afford to travel to hospitals. The Zimbabwe Sustainable Clubfoot Program (ZSCP), sources tools, sundries, and trains professionals, including community-based physiotherapists and occupational therapists. 
The Ponseti method is a four-stage treatment phase. The first phase is manipulation where the feet are put into position using hands. The second is serial casting, where plasters are applied on the feet of the child for a period of about six weeks to correct the feet position. 
The third stage is tenotomy, a surgical cutting of the tendon. Wearing of foot adduction braces is the final stage. Children wear the braces for 23 hours a day, and later on only when they sleep until the child is five years old. 
Dr Mutyiri said parents should religiously follow the treatment stages to avoid the recurrence of clubfoot. 
“If the parents do not follow the stages, the condition recurs. Parents’ non-compliance results in the recurrence of clubfoot in children above five years. Some of the children do not even get to the bracing stage as their feet will be corrected by casting,” said Mutyiri. 
He said the department does casting on Thursdays and usually attends to six children. 
One of the mothers, Agnes Marumbwa from Gutu, was almost in tears as she narrated how her daughter was born with clubfoot and the treatment she received at the department.
“My daughter was born with clubfoot, and everyone looked at me differently. I was referred to this centre by Gutu Hospital. The team at this centre welcomed me with open arms and treated me gracefully. They reassured me that my daughter would walk, and I am forever indebted to them. My daughter is almost completing her treatment. She is now running around like any other child,” said Marumbwa.  
The rehabilitation centre also attend other conditions, including fractures and cerebral palsy.

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