August 15, 2021

Rotary Action Group for Clubfoot Activities

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

Rotary Action Group for Clubfoot Ponseti Training Support – 2021.09.30