Technology helps kids walk again

When Duba was 10 years old she was given a bad malaria shot that resulted in a clubfoot. Still, decades later, she has spent the majority of her life walking with a cane and struggling to keep up with normal tasks.

orthopedics EnglishA clubfoot occurs when the muscles and ligaments supporting the foot are contracted and cause the bones in the foot to be abnormally aligned and pointing inward. Generally only the outer edge of the foot can touch the ground, making it difficult to walk. Medical science doesn’t know what causes the majority of club feet, a common birth defect, but 1 out of every 750 children (roughly 1 child every three minutes) is born with clubfoot, 80% of cases in the developing world.

Originally clubfoot was treated with a complicated and expensive surgery that more often than not lead to poor results. Although this condition is not painful, as the child develops their ability to walk becomes more and more challenging.

When grandson Alex was also born with a clubfoot Duba’s heart broke for him, knowing that there was a very real possibility that he would have to struggle with this deformity for the rest of his life.

club feet

Duba has brought Alex to every appointment with a smile on her face.
She says that it makes her happy to see her grandson receive the medical treatment she never had a chance to get.

Thankfully, due to new technologies Mercy Ships is able to correct clubfoot easily and with a 95% success rate using nonsurgical methods. These methods involve childrens’ feet being gently stretched and casted to gradually straighten the foot. One of these methods is called the Ponseti Method and was and was developed by a doctor who studied medicine in Barcelona. The Ponseti centre will be a permanent facility in Madagascar for professionals to use Dr. Ponseti’s Method to cure patients like little Alex for years to come.