Parents with children suffering from clubfoot conditions have been advised to seek early treatment to correct the deformity.
According to the Head of Orthopaedics and Trauma at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra, Lt Col Delali Adzigbli, over time, society had made most parents believe that the condition was incurable, leading to many children becoming deformed when indeed the condition could have been corrected at an early stage.
Lt Col Adzigbli, who gave the advice at a function organised by Hope Walks, an NGO, to commemorate this year’s World Clubfoot Day, added that people must do away with the stigma and other myths surrounding the condition and seek help right after birth.
"Clubfoot is a very correctable deformity; it is a condition that if properly managed could be corrected. It is not a condition that happens because you were cursed. It happens spontaneously but it can be corrected.
"Do not hide your child, bring them over to the hospital and let us assess them and give them the right treatment," he said.
According to him, a child as old as 12 years could be assessed and put on the right treatment procedure.
Clubfoot is a deformity present at birth that causes a baby's foot to turn inward and downward.
On average, there are almost 180,000 children born with the deformity around the world every year and if not treated it can cause severe disability.
The Programs Manager of Christian Health Association Ghana (CHAG), and Hope Walk Footclub Project, Nana Afua Adutwumaa Adjeitey, said through the collaboration of the two organisations, children in the country could now have access to free clubfoot condition treatment at the 37 Military Hospital, Gbawe SDA Hospital, Accra, St John of God Hospital at Duayaw-Nkwanta in the Bono-Ahafo Region, the SDA Hospital in Kwadaso-Kumasi and the Tamale Teaching Hospital.
"So we are encouraging the public that they should not stay at home or stigmatise against somebody who has clubfoot," she said.
Ms Adjeitey further encouraged parents to be consistent with the treatment process for better results so that the condition does not lead to a relapse which could have a negative impact on the child.
Clubfoot not a curse
The Parent Advisor at the 37 Military Hospital Children's Ward, Joseph Andrews, said although many babies suffered the condition annually, parents did not know where to seek treatment.
That, he said, had caused separation in some families with some parents abandoning their babies.
"Some of the many excuses some parents give is that they believe it is a curse. Maybe the mother abused someone verbally and as a result, the person cast a spell on the baby.
“But it is important to say that we do not only treat babies but give them all the emotional support they need to correct their mindsets," Mr Andrews added.
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