Population: 9.7 million
Estimated number of children born with clubfoot each year: 285
(Incidence estimated using CIA factbook statistics and clubfoot incidence of 1.2/1000 live births)
Haiti has a national programme for clubfoot with 6 clinics, as of September 2011, around the country providing Ponseti treatment for children with clubfoot.
The story of the Haiti clubfoot programme is a very interesting one. Originally started in 1995, then incorporated as part of CURE Clubfoot Worldwide’s work in the Dominican Republic the work was badly damaged by the earthquake in 2010. Since then a truly collaborative effort between NGO’s – chiefly CBM International, CURE Clubfoot Worldwide, ALTSO, Medical Team International and the Adventist Hospital – and Ministry of Health has re-built the programme to a point where it is now thriving.
Dr Bob Cady, a paediatric orthopaedist from New York who has done a lot of work in Haiti describes the progress in-country since the earthquake:
‘There are now six fully functional clinics in the Haiti Clubfoot Program network: three in Port au Prince, and one each in Jacmel (south), Milot (north), and Les Cayes (southwest). The Haiti Clubfoot Program is one of the few nationwide health programs that has been fully restored and is successfully treating children. It has become a model for cooperation and restoring hope.
Our plan is to continue expanding the HCP until every baby born in Haiti with a clubfoot has access to treatment with the Ponseti technique. Thanks to CURE, CBM, The Ponseti International Association, ALTSO, and MTI, and the resilience of the Haitian people, this goal seems attainable.’
Dr Cady has supplied us with a full report of the Haiti National Clubfoot Programme and how it was re-built and strengthened following the earthquake. This report can be downloaded here: Haiti national clubfoot programme (52)
CBM International have also published a report on their website on the work in Haiti. Read the report here: http://www.cbm.org/Changing-lives-of-children-with-clubfoot-322031.php.
This image shows a child with neglected (untreated) clubfoot in Haiti. Thanks to the Haiti national clubfoot programme disability caused by neglected clubfoot will now be prevented in 100’s of childrens’ lives as they receive effective treatment.