Rotary changing lives of children born with clubfoot

August 15, 2021

Rotary Action Group for Clubfoot Ponseti Training Support table

In the seven years since formation of the Rotary Action Group for Clubfoot, our organization has supported six training projects to advance the skills of orthopedic surgeons in Latin America and the Caribbean in the Ponseti Method for treatment of clubfoot.  The Rotary Foundation approved vocational training team global grants to fund five of the training projects.  The sixth project involved a small number of physicians and was funded with other Rotary support since its budget was not large enough to qualify for a global grant.

An Action Group goal is to have enough orthopedic surgeons trained in the Ponseti Method in every country so that every child born with clubfoot can have their feet straightened shortly after birth.  Statistically, clubfoot afflicts one child in each 750 births so the numbers of physicians needing to be trained is readily calculated with demographic data.

The Action Group has made significant progress toward the goal in the six countries where trainings have been accomplished or are in progress.  As the table shows, grants exceeding $525,000 have financed fundamental training and mentorship for 152 physicians.  Additionally, the grants have provided for advanced training in the practice and teaching of the Ponseti Method for 30 physicians who already had experience with the method.

Since Rotary clubs coordinate training activities and volunteer professionals provide much of the instruction and mentoring, the costs of our Action Group’s projects are moderated.

The effectiveness of the training approach was confirmed by Dr. Astrid Medina Cañon and Dr. Amparo Buendía Hernández, both members of the Rotary Club of Bogotá Centenario.  Dr. Cañon was one of the principal trainers for the Colombia project and Dr. Hernández was the primary contact for the grant.  In the report to The Rotary Foundation they wrote, “The trained orthopedists had very flattering words since none of them had had a teaching ‘hands on’ with respect to the Ponseti Method. They also congratulated the team and thanked Rotary for providing the tools to carry out this course. Having enough time to learn something new and do it first on plastic models and then on patients was invaluable.”

Submitted by Brock Earnhardt

D6000 Global Grants Action Team, Chair


Colombian team share a video of their successful project

July 14, 2021

CLÍNICAS PONSETI COLOMBIA RESULTADOS - ROTARY IOWA


Colombian Ponseti Method Training (GG1860348) – completed

July 11, 2021

The Colombian Ponseti Method training global grant was a success with 28 orthopedists receiving training in Ponseti Method to expand their skills to treat children born with clubfoot.  The Ponseti Method training was provided by professionals from PIA International (Ponseti International Association) and with the support of the Rotary Action Group for Clubfoot (RAG4Clubfoot).

The newly trained orthopedists returned to their professional work in public and private hospitals in 15 cities distributed throughout the Colombian geography, and their two Rotary Districts 4281 and 4271.

As a real result, up to the date of this report, nine -9- Clinicas Ponseti have been established in Colombia. They are in the cities of Bogotá D.C., Ibagué, Cali, Medellin and Cucuta.  Joint work with public and private entities that provide health services in Colombia, to implement a Comprehensive Care for children, which includes all their treatment.

Grant objectives met:

  • New Ponseti clubfoot treatment clinics were created in healthcare institutions, presenting financial models to help their sustainability.
  • Adoption of the Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Clubfoot, with the Ponseti Method, so that they became part of the institutional documentation.
  • Direct communication channels with the community and especially with the parents of the beneficiary children. Emphasis was placed on this communication being reliable, friendly, and up-to-date.
  • Knowledge and expertise in what orthodeists learned through Virtual Seminars and their participation in Congresses of Pediatric Orthopedists and also in conferences of Pediatricians and General Physicians was encouraged.

Development of brace bank

A result of the numerous meetings between Rotarians and the newly trained health professionals, was the need to create a brace bank.  The braces are essential orthopedic element to maintain the foot correction.  A mutual agreement between Dr. Astrid Medina, pedatric orthopaedic physician, a local Rotary club and the Colombian Society of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology (SCCOT) to receive and take charge of the administration and distribution of 1,150 braces purchased from Clubfoot Solutions in Iowa, USA.  The advantage of the brace bank is that the braces can be returned to the bank after use, then they can be reused by future patients, benefitting a greater number of children and for a longer time.

Increased communication channels

An email account has been established through email: pieequinovarorotarycolombia @ gmail.com and on social networks: Instagram: @ ponseti.colombia.oficial and Facebook: Asociacion Ponseti Colombia. congenital clubfoot). The website is also under creation: https://www.ponseticolombia.org


Ponseti Method Training in Argentina Global Grant approved by The Rotary Foundation

March 28, 2021

The Rotary Club of Iowa City A.M. (Iowa, USA) and the Rotary Club of Grant Bourge (Buenos Aires, Argentina) have collaborated to write a Global Grant with the purpose to train orthopedists in the Ponseti Method.  The request has been approved by The Rotary Foundation.

A Ponseti Method Training Seminar is to take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina later this year.  Its goal is to train 7 (seven) pediatric surgeons from Argentina’s Pediatric State Hospitals to achieve the eradication of clubfoot in this country.  The seven hospitals the surgeons represent have committed to dedicate an office for the Ponseti Clinics where the orthopedists will talk to parents of children born with clubfoot, treat patients, and keep a registry of the cases treated.

Argentina has a population of 44 million inhabitants and the number of babies born with clubfoot per year is estimated to be 1,000.

The grant hosts are the Rotary Club of Iowa City A.M. (Iowa, USA) and the Rotary Club of Grand Bourge (Buenos Aires, Argentina).  Additional funders are the Rotary Club of Cedar Rapids Downtown Club (Iowa, USA) and individual Rotarians.

If your district/club is interested in contributing financially to a future Ponseti Method training, please contact us at info@rag4clubfoot.org

 


Colombia Global Grant Report submitted- Ponseti Method Training for the Treatment of Clubfoot in Colombia

October 4, 2020

The first report to The Rotary Foundation for this project has been accepted.  All the initial training sessions were completed and everything went extremely smoothly.  The last training session (the sixth one) was completed late in January 2020.  Yet to be seen is how the Covid-19 pandemic will affect the timing of follow-up visits to trainees.

Many thanks to the clubs and districts who are supporting this Global Grant project:

District 4271 (Colombia)
District 4281 (Colombia)
District 5470 (Colorado, USA)
District 5970 (Iowa, USA)
District 6000 (Iowa, USA)

District 6960 (Florida, USA)
RC of Bogotá Centenario (D4281)
RC of Cedar Rapids Downtown (D5970)
RC of Ibagué (D4281)
RC of Iowa City AM (D6000)
RC of Marco Island Noontime (D6960)
RC of Vail (D5470)
Iowa’s Gift to the World

What was the overall impact of the training on the community?  Include specific results of the training or explain how it has improved the community’s capacity in this vocation.

The directors of hospitals and insurance companies learned about the Ponseti Method as a safe method, of low cost and efficient for clubfoot management. Hospital directors recognized the advantages for the patient and his family, and the reduction in costs for making the correction in a more fast. They realized the importance of creating Ponseti clinics, that means order, discipline and efficiency in the teaching parents and caregivers of children. Thanks to the visit of Dr. Morcuende to the Presidency of the Republic, the work that is being done in Colombia with children with clubfoot. The trained orthopedists had very flattering words as none of them had had a teaching ¨hands on¨ regarding the Ponseti Method. They also congratulated the team and thanked Rotary for providing the tools to carry out this course. Having enough time to learn something new and carrying it out first on plastic models and then on patients was very valuable.

Some phrases from the participants:
“It was a unique experience.”
“It completely changed the way I treat patients with clubfoot.”
“I realized the mistakes I was making with my patients.”
“I want to quickly get to my hospital to change things to make them better now.”

Comments from parents:
So far I really understand the Ponseti Method. ¨I want my son to be well, I am going to do my best to make this happen.”
“Now I know when the splint is wrong.”
“I liked meeting other parents and other children with the same problem as mine.”


Ponseti Method Training in Argentina Global Grant submitted to The Rotary Foundation for review

October 4, 2020

We seek Rotary Districts interested to provide District Designated Funds (DDF) to support this project.  Please contact info@rag4clubfoot.org for more information.

The Rotary Club of Iowa City A.M. (Iowa, USA) and the Rotary Club of Grand Bourge (Buenos Aires, Argentina) have collaborated to write a Global Grant to train orthopedists in the Ponseti Method.  The request has been submitted to The Rotary Foundation and they await to hear their decision.  A summary of the project is given below.

A Ponseti Method (PM) Training Seminar to take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Its goal is to train pediatric surgeons to achieve the eradication of clubfoot in that country. It was at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) where Dr. Ponseti started and perfected the method that carries his name.

Argentina has a population of 44 million inhabitants and the number of new cases per year is estimated to be 1,000. The number of children and adults who live with clubfoot is not known.

There will be 7 (seven) pediatric surgeons from Argentina’s Pediatric State Hospitals.  The seven hospitals the surgeons represent have committed to dedicate an office for the Ponseti Clinics (PC) where the surgeons will talk to parents of children born with clubfoot, treat patients, and keep a registry of the cases treated.

The Training Seminar will have an 8 (eight) months’ duration, and its Leader will be Dr. Jose Morcuende, PIA Director in Iowa City, Iowa, USA.  The first part of the seminar will last 5 (five) days, during which Dr. Morcuende will inform about and teach the PM to the surgeons. During the second part, the pediatric surgeons will set up a Ponseti Clinic in each one of their hospitals, where they will talk to parents of children with clubfoot, treat the patients, and keep a record of the number of cases they treat. The pediatric surgeons will be invited to participate, every three months, in web seminars for Latin America, organized by the Ponseti International Association (PIA). During the third part, Dr. Morcuende will return to Argentina to check on the PC, to see the patients’ registries, and to answer questions the doctors may have.

The institutions that collaborate to organize this PM Seminar are: 1. In Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Rotary Club Grand Bourg, and Dr. Miguel Paz, Pediatric Surgeon, Malvinas Argentinas Pediatric Hospital; 2. In the USA, the PM International, Rotary International D6000, and the Rotary Club of Iowa City A.M.; Dr. Jose Morcuende, PM Director, at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa, USA.

Written by Nenu Piragine, Rotarian of the Iowa City AM Club.


Mexico Global Grant Update April 2020

July 22, 2020

Every year in Mexico, over 3,000 children are born with clubfoot. Clubfoot is treatable with Ponseti Method, a non-surgical technique using gentle manipulations of the foot, followed by the application of 4 to 6 weekly casts. The Rotary Foundation sponsors a global grant to support Ponseti Method training of 29 orthopedists throughout Mexico.

This Project began with a connection between D-5970 (then) DGE Jozif Gitta and a Cedar Valley (Iowa) Rotary Club member with familial ties to Mexico along with the Ponseti International Association (PIA) based at the University of Iowa. For the Cedar Valley Rotary Club, writing a grant proposal was a new experience and so it was through the mentorship of PIA that Global Grant GG1638227 was written.

One goal of the grant is to train 29 orthopedists affiliated with public hospitals from various cities/states of Mexico, in the Ponseti Method, and then the newly trained orthopedist establishes a Ponseti clubfoot treatment clinic at their hospital. Challenges included establishing a base in Mexico, changing leadership both in the Iowa and Mexican Rotary Clubs/Districts, and fluctuating monetary exchange rates. The grant, originally approved in 2017 is now scheduled to conclude in April 2020 .

The proposal outlined a train-the-trainer model enlisting orthopedic professors previously trained in Ponseti Method, who would serve as trainers/mentors to 2-3 trained orthopedists. These “trainers” would support, guide, and provide feedback regarding how to establish a clinic and how to upload data of treated patients into the International Clubfoot Registry (ICR), as well as make observations and suggestions about the manipulation technique and casting.

Dates and locations of trainings:

  • November 2017 Maternal and Child Regional Hospital in Monterrey, Nuevo León (15 trainers trained)
  • December 2017 Maternal and Child Regional Hospital in Monterrey, Nuevo León (11 orthopedists trained)
  • September 2019 The Shriners Hospital for Children, Mexico City (10 orthopedists trained)
  • January 2020 Hospital Regional Marterno Infantil in Monterrey, Nuevo León (14 professors trained)
  • A planned April 2020 training has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic

The end result of this Project is the expansion of the number of orthopedists, across Mexico properly applying the Ponseti Method to treat clubfoot in their clinics. Already over 200 children have received this life changing treatment. This is just the beginning of a sustainable plan to make the Ponseti Method the main treatment in this region. Global grant GG1638227 has proven to be a good investment in the well-being of the children of Mexico.


Bolivia Ponseti Method training grant approved!

June 30, 2017

Today, The Rotary Foundation approved a Humanitarian Grant in Bolivia with objectives to:

  • provide leadership training to 3 in-country trainers for the didactic aspects of teaching the Ponseti Method and on how to establish an effective nationwide network of clinics that will be recognized by health authorities as providers of the standard-of-care treatment for clubfoot (Ponseti Leadership Training Program);
  • provide training to 6 orthopaedic surgeons that are currently practicing Ponseti Method treatment but they have not received hands-on Ponseti Method mentorship (Practicing Provider Training Program);
  • provide Ponseti Method mentorship to 15 new providers to enable them to treat clubfoot deformity at their respective healthcare facilities (new Provider Training Program); and
  • provide guidance to the in-country trainers and trainees about promoting clubfoot awareness and advocating for the Ponseti Method at the local and national levels.

Location of Ponseti Method Trainers & Trainees

June 29, 2017

View a map that locates Ponseti Method trainers (yellow) and trainees (red) in Brazil: