Rotarians taking action for a world free of clubfoot disability
Impact of Spreading Awareness
We're grateful to share that there have been two instances where the children's storybook, Lucky's Feet has been read to children around the globe and impact communities (South Africa and Eldridge, Iowa, USA).
Through this, children shared that they learned several things, including:
– It’s not anyone’s fault when a child has a disability.
– We need to be kind to people with disabilities.
– We need to have compassion.
Furthermore, a board member was contacted and was able to connect resources at a local level in South Africa! We are resource connectors in helping find practical treatment for children with clubfoot!
Rotarians partner with local community organization to assist family to access Ponseti Method clinic
Written by: Bonnie Lowry, RC of Marshalltown (Iowa, USA)
The Rotary Club of Marshalltown evening group had the opportunity to partner with MICA, Mid-Iowa Community Action, an organization which supports a local family who found out that their baby was going to be born with clubfoot. One of our members has a working relationship with Lexi, the family's case manager, which opened up the avenue of opportunity for support.
As Rotarians, we were able to pass on information about the Ponseti Method to Lexi; in turn, Lexi; in turn, Lexi was then able to share the information with Sebastian's family. Gaining an understanding about the Ponseti procedure helped to relieve some anxiety and generated hope that there would be a happy ending. A plan and arrangements were made for the family to become involved with doctors at the University of Iowa Children's Hospital. After Sebastian's birth, the family was ready to carry out the plan.
The Rotary Club of Marshalltown evening group was able to support this family by providing gas cards that alleviated the financial stress of making the weekly trip from Marshalltown to Iowa City for Sebastian's castings and brace fittings.
Sebastian and his mom came to one of our meetings so that we could meet them. As their Iowa City visits progressed, Sebastian's mom provided u with a video of one of their casting visits so that we could see first hand the manipulation process and also the healing progress that was taking place. Sebastian is making great progress. At this time, he is only required to wear the brace during the night.
The members of the Rotary Club of Marshalltown evening group have had the opportunity to learn and see first hand how Dr. Ponseti's method for correcting clubfoot positively effects the quality of life. Without the RAG4Clubfoot, our member may not have had the information to pass on this family and case worker, alleviating some of the family's anxiety and helping to connect them with necessary resources. Rotarians are people of action!
Anne Onyango, founder of Clubfoot Society of Kenya and member of eRotary Club of World Disability Advocacy and RAG4Clubfoot, provided the Iowa City Downtown club a presentation via Zoom to introduce the Clubfoot Society of Kenya and their efforts to provide orthopedic boots for adults with clubfoot. Additionally, she shares how to reduce stigma around clubfoot.
Anne started Clubfoot Society because she faced challenges herself to receive boots to help combat clubfoot discomfort. Initially, she was searching for people similar to her in rural areas, but physical disability was lumped as a singular term. Therefore, she struggled creating a database of contacts for adults with clubfoot. But in the next year, she plans on doing sensitization programs through radio and other platforms to create a formidable force that will encourage the government to help with funding.
Furthering, the conversation around stigma, Anne says she always has to explain why she is disabled and answer individuals questions when they are staring. For example, adults with clubfoot want to buy shoes alone and do not want to try on shoes around other individuals. And while Kenyans are embracing disability progressively, there is a problem where when men have a child with clubfoot and then they often abandon the family entirely. Thankfully, Anne is creating radio programs to discuss these challenges and try to overcome these barriers that allow the stigma around clubfoot to exist.
RAG4Clubfoot seized the opportunity to display our work in the House of Friendship at Northeast Presidents-Elect (NE PETS) Training Seminar held in West Newton, MA (USA) March 9 - 11.
Thank you, Ralph Hammond, our newest Board member for introducing us to your region!
Photo (l - r): Marcel van Opstal, Co-Chair, Ralph Hammond, Board member; and Victor Tom, DG 7910.
Visit the House of Friendship
Learn how Rotarians are taking action
for a world free of clubfoot disability
District 6000 (Iowa, USA) Conference at three locations:
Carroll, Iowa - April 15
Coralville, Iowa - April 22
West Des Moines - April 29
Multi District Conference D7910, D7930 and D7890
Burlington, MA (USA) - April 22
Rotary International Convention 2023
Melbourne, Australia - May 27 - 31
Ponseti Method Training Global Grant Updates
Written by Elisa Oviedo, RC of Ground Bourg (Argentina) and Nenu Piragine, RC of Iowa City A.M. (Iowa, USA)
Global grant activities of training 9 orthopaedic surgeons in Ponseti Method have been completed. Host contacts are completing the final report by collecting data like total number of patients treated at each clubfoot clinic and how many additional doctors were trained by the 9 orthopeadic surgeons trained. The financial report has been completed and submitted to The Rotary Foundation.
Transforming Lives, Global Grant for Ecuador Written by Evan Galbraith, RC of St. Helena (CA, USA)
Each year, there are an estimated 350 new children born with clubfoot in Ecuador. Global Grant “Transforming Lives” (GG2239604), approved by the Rotary Foundation in August 2022 with a budget of $39,375, aims to ensure that all children in Ecuador have access to low-cost and effective Ponseti treatment for clubfoot. The Rotary Club of Tsáchila de Santo Domingo (Ecuador) in District 4400 is the host of the project and the Rotary Club of Saint Helena (California) in District 5130 is the International Sponsor. Already, nine Ponseti clinics in seven cities across Ecuador have been established and a growing number of patients are receiving treatment.
Through this project, three International Trainers are conducting follow-up visits to observe and evaluate the functioning of these clinics and to provide feedback and advice to the Ecuadorian doctors. 500 additional braces have been ordered, and these braces will be distributed to the clinics. Newly trained providers will be prepared to raise awareness about clubfoot and its treatment among clinical staff, parents of children with clubfoot, and other healthcare officials and advocates who are in positions to assist with community mobilization throughout Ecuador. To this end, five Ecuadorian doctors were selected to attend the October 2022 Society of Ecuadorian Congress of Orthopedics and Traumatology ("SEOT") in Quito where they presented the work of their clinics and their results with clinical cases.
Global Grant on the horizon Colombia
A team of Rotarians are developing a global grant to expand the brace bank and provide education to parents.
We seek Rotary clubs and districts interested to serve as hosts of future Ponseti Method training grants.
If your district is interested to contribute financially with District Designated Funds (DDF) and/or cash; contact us for more information!
Clubs and individual Rotarians are welcome to contribute also!
Looking for an informative club program? Invite RAG4Clubfoot to share with your members how Rotarians are impacting the lives of children born with clubfoot. We are prepared to join via Zoom or other webinar platforms.
BECOME A MEMBER:
Become a member! Show your support of our mission that all children receive Ponseti Clubfoot treatment. If you would like to become a member for $25, please use this link to do so https://rag4clubfoot.org/become-a-member/
The Rotary Action Group, RAG4Clubfoot, is a group of Rotarians whose purpose is to mobilize Rotarians and provide global leadership to support timely Ponseti Method treatment and appropriate care for all children born with clubfoot. This Rotary Action Group operates in accordance with Rotary International policy, but is not an agency of, or controlled by, Rotary International.