Evidence does not explain itself. If it did, prosecutors in a trial would only have to submit “the weapon” and/or “torn piece of clothing” found at the murder scene and then rest their case. Evidence, especially in medicine, needs to be explained, better understood, and promoted through research and other painstaking efforts. That evidence can then be confirmed and, as pertinent, modified for different applications. This is certainly true for the non-invasive clubfoot treatment protocol that has become the standard of care throughout the world.
June 3rd has been proclaimed World Clubfoot Day by Ponseti International Association (PIA), associated with the Orthopedic Surgery Department at the University of Iowa. PIA is named after the late Dr. Ignacio Ponseti, an orthopedic surgeon whose treatment method and associated research bears his name. It is the treatment protocol CURE International and its specialty program, CURE Clubfoot Worldwide (CCW), subscribe to for treating children with clubfoot in developing world settings.
CCW is associated with programs and other efforts in the western hemisphere (Honduras, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic), in Africa (Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, Ethiopia, Niger, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Ghana, Togo, Sierra Leon, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique), and in Asia (India, Afghanistan, and Cambodia). All of these efforts are underway due to a combination of collaborative partnerships with local partners, local ministries of health, government aid agencies, local clinics, international non-government organizations (NGOs), and others. Included in this list of partners are: USAID, AusAID, CBM International, miraclefeet, Prosthetic Orthopedic Foundation (POF), ICRC, Cornerstone Foundation, and Vitol Foundation. CCW is a founding partner of Global Clubfoot Initiative (GCI), which has more than 25 members involved with efforts to eliminate the disability caused by clubfoot for children in the developing world. A number within the GCI ranks – including Professor Chris Lavy, the Chief Medical Officer for CURE International and CCW Medical Director – were personally trained by Dr. Ponseti on his method for treating clubfoot.
All of these efforts trace their roots back to the work of one man, Dr. Ignacio Ponseti. PIA carries forth his legacy with its strong efforts and focus on training and education throughout the world. Dr. Jose Morcuende, the CEO and Medical Director of PIA, leads these efforts to ensure the quality of the Ponseti method is adhered to and to promote the Ponseti method as the standard of care for treating clubfoot anywhere in the world.
One of the great strengths of the Ponseti method is its adaptability. This was first proven in Uganda by Drs. Shafique Pirani and Norgrove Penny, and shortly thereafter in Malawi, led by Drs. Chris Lavy and Steve Mannion; in Kenya, led by Dr. Joseph Theuri, AIC CURE International Hospital of Kenya Medical Director; in Bangladesh, by Walk for Life, an international NGO started by Colin Macfarlane; in Latin America, by miraclefeet; and many other places by other GCI members. Today, the fastest growing segment within all of CCW efforts is its India program, administered by CURE International India Trust (CIIT) leadership team, which in the forefront of addressing untreated clubfoot issues with great focus and intent.
CCW congratulates PIA continuing the great legacy of Dr. Ponseti. We are grateful for all its success to date and wish all involved with PIA continued success in the future. Along with the fellow members of GCI, CCW endeavors to continue to its part to provide this life-changing medical care to the children in the developing world who are born with clubfoot. Learn more about CURE’s clubfoot activities at http://cure.org/clubfoot.