Congenital anomalies refer to a group of conditions encountered after birth that includes cleft lip and palate, hernias, anorectal malformations, and clubfoot. According to the Disease Control Priorities (Surgery), 50% of congenital anomalies can be treated with surgery. Simple, cost-effective, and non-invasive treatment exists for certain conditions such as clubfoot.
Every year, around 100,000 babies worldwide are born with a clubfoot. Clubfoot is an inborn deformity of the foot, where either or both feet are twisted inward, causing the child to walk on his ankles. Left untreated, the condition causes severe lifelong disability. 80% of untreated clubfoot are found in developing countries. A patient who undergoes surgery will require two to three more surgeries over his lifetime. At 30 years old, a patient who underwent surgery will have a quality of life similar to a 50 year-old patient with Parkinson's Disease.
The Ponseti method is a non-invasive, low-cost procedure to correct clubfoot with a 98% success rate. It consists of manually aligning the child's foot with the application of a series of casts. It can take as little as 5 casts and 20 days to give a child a new chance at life.
The EESC program, together with its partners, has helped in the promotion of this cost-effective and disability-preventive method by developing an educational package and delivery mechanism to train physicians and healthworkers worldwide.