Timor-Leste

Population: 1.18 million
Estimated number of babies born with clubfoot each year: 36-61
(based on an incidence of 1.2-2/1000 births)

Timor-Leste’s national programme for clubfoot is called Tratamentu Ain Kleuk Ne’ebe Usa Teknika Ponseti (Clubfoot Treatment Using Ponseti Technique).

Timor-Leste babies wearing locally produced Steenbeek Foot Abduction Braces

The first national training programme on Ponseti management of clubfoot was held in 2008 and was a combined effort of the Timor-Leste Ministry of Health, ASSERT (disabled person’s organisation), RACS/Atlass programme and AOA Orthopaedic Outreach. This training was followed up with an awareness raising campaign using posters in district hospitals, ongoing support and training for Ponseti-trained clincians and training in foot abduction brace fabrication and Achilles’ tenotomy.

Training course in Timor-Leste with Dr David McNicol of the RACS

In 2010 a refresher training was held in Timor-Leste followed by presentations from local clinicians on their work and experiences of using the Ponseti technique over the preceding two years.

The national programme for clubfoot in Timor-Leste is supported by the Ministry of Health, ASSERT (supported by CBM and EU) and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS).  The programme is self sufficient in brace fabrication and there are currently 8 Ponseti clinics within the country in Dili, Baucau, Bobonaro, Ainaro and Oecussi Districts.

Number of Ponseti clinics in the country Number of babies enrolled Number of feet treated
2008 3 3
2009 6 21
2010 8 16 74 to date

Timor-Leste mothers and babies