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Shubhra Kamat is MTW’s Lead Paediatric Orthopaedic Extended Scope Practitioner. She recently volunteered in a children’s hospital in Mumbai, India providing hands-on training for the paediatric orthopaedic surgeons at the Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children, to treat babies and children with clubfoot.

Friday 3 June is World Clubfoot Day and it aims to raise awareness about clubfoot (also known as talipes), a condition where a baby is born with a foot, or feet, that turn in and under.

Clubfoot is the most common musculoskeletal birth deformity and over 200,000 babies are born with the condition worldwide each year. Each year MTW helps some 750 patients who receive treatment for this lower limb condition.

We asked Shubhra to tell us about her experiences as a volunteer.

Why did you decide to get involved?

Clubfoot is a treatable birth defect that can bring both pain and social isolation if not remedied. It is one of the most common causes of physical disability in India and it is often not treated in the developing world.

I wanted to use my clinical skills to support and work with the clubfoot society globally and since I did my postgraduate diploma in Mumbai, I thought it would be an opportune time to contribute my knowledge and learn from the team at the Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children. This was my first visit to this hospital and I plan to visit each year in future.

What support did you provide during your visit to Mumbai?

I spent a week treating, teaching, discussing and learning about the treatment of clubfoot in India, and understanding the challenges families, clinicians and children with clubfoot face and the impact it has on their lives.

Tell us more about the clubfoot service at the Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children and the orthopaedic team there?

The centre at Wadia Hospital sees over 200 new cases of clubfoot every year and has a robust follow up system for babies and children.

In July 2013, the Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children joined with the Miracle Feet Foundation and CURE International India to introduce a Clubfoot Clinic at the hospital.

Their aim is to treat clubfoot deformities in newborn children in order to prevent further disabilities during the course of their lives.

The hospital acts as a centre for the treatment of clubfoot and pledges to extend its services to people regardless of their socio-economic status. It offers state of the art services for neonatal and paediatric care at affordable costs.

The 300-bed teaching hospital is led by an expert team of over 60 paediatrics specialists devoting themselves to the care of over 100,000 children on an outpatient basis, and approximately 10,000 children as inpatients, each year.

What is the Ponseti method and how does it work?

The Ponseti method used to treat the patients involves gentle manipulation of the feet followed by the application of plaster casts and temporary bracing for a repeated period of four to six weeks to achieve a complete correction.

If you would like to find out more and meet the expert team at MTW, visit our orthopaedics web pages for further information.