BY KNA’s JUDY TOO
Children with disabilities are one of the marginalized and excluded groups in society. And for that reason, parents in Uasin Gishu County have been urged to seek treatment for children with clubfoot as the service is free of charge at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH).
Senior director of clinical services MTRH, Dr. Philip Kirwa, said that clubfoot is one of the most common birth deformities causing the foot to be turned inward and downward.
“MTRH in collaboration with Clubfoot Care for Kenya (CCK) and the Ministry of Health seeks to eradicate disabilities caused by clubfoot in Kenya,” he said.
“Our work entails advocacy that is talking to the parents and communities to ensure they come for treatment as early as possible as the treatment given to the child can be corrected before he or she takes their first step by using the ponseti method of treatment,” said Kirwa.
He noted that the rate in society is that for every 1000 births, there is one child born with deformities of the foot which can affect one or both feet.
“In MTRH we have treated over 5000 children as we are making an impact in the society to ensure these children live a normal life, “he said.
He further explained that in terms of misconception, a lot of parents hide these children as they feel embarrassed as they believe it might be witchcraft or a curse in the family but this is just a condition like any other condition and it is curable.
Chairman of Clubfoot Care for Kenya and coordinator from the Ministry of Health, Alex Kisanga, noted that globally around 174,000 children are born with clubfoot each year and in Kenya, close to 2,000 children are born with clubfoot per year.
“We have partnered with public health facilities to establish weekly clubfoot clinics where children born with this condition can access proper treatment, “he said.
“We build the capacity of health workers, provide clubfoot treatment supplies, continuously monitor and assess clubfoot cases and enhance community awareness and involvement,” noted Kisanga.
Violet Namkhosi, a parent who has been seeking treatment for his child at the MTRH clubfoot clinic said when she gave birth to his son with the clubfoot he has been receiving treatment and his child has shown great improvement.
“Since we started the treatment, the doctors have been great and my child’s feet are much better and soon he will stop wearing special shoes as his feet are back to normal,” said Namkosi.
She noted that most parents lack knowledge about clubfoot and they do not know where to seek treatment once the child is born and urged them to consult doctors to ensure they get treatment immediately.