Children with disabilities are one of the most marginalized and excluded groups in society.
And for that reason, parents in Uasin Gishu County have been urged to seek treatment for children affected by clubfoot, as the service is free of charge at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH).
Senior director of clinical services at 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 and can affect one or both feet.
“In MTRH, we have treated over 5000 children, and we are making an impact in 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, and it is curable.
Chairman 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 that since 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. 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 do not know where to seek treatment once the child is born, and she urged them to consult doctors to ensure they get treatment immediately.
By Judy Too