The government of Cameroon through the Ministry of Public Health and the Health Services of the Cameroon Baptist Convention, CBC, have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to fight against club foot, a birth defect where one or both feet are rotated inward and downward.
The MOU was signed in Yaounde on Tuesday, May 25 between the Minister of Public Health, Dr Malachie Manaouda and the Director of the Health Services of the Cameroon Baptist Convention, Dr Pius Tih.
The agreement signed for four years, renewable, aims to improve the early detection and management of clubfoot in children from zero to two years old and, incidentally, provide clinical interventions and rehabilitation for adults, with the aim of preventing the disease.
In addition to these, the agreement seeks to strengthen the technical capacity of clubfoot treatment sites to provide quality services as well as increase training within clubfoot treatment sites; and improve access to treatment for adults who need it.
The memorandum of understanding provides for all private and public health facilities to respect the treatment protocols and procedures in correcting club foot in Cameroon.
All these measures are taken in order to avoid this handicap to these children and to allow them to be able to attend school normally.
Signing the memorandum of understanding, the Minister of Public Health, Dr Malachie Manaouda called of all partners to put their skills to work in order to curb the rate of club foot.
He pledged government’s willingness to insert a module to train physicians in all training facilities across the country.
On his part, the Director of the CBC Health Services hoped the partnership will help speed up early detection of club foot and save more children from disabilities.
“This partnership is going to change a lot in the lives of children that are born with club foot in Cameroon. If not corrected, these children are going to live with this disability all their lives. It is important that health facilities identify these children early before two years to ensure that the necessary corrections are made. So we are very hopeful that this partnership will change a lot in the situation,” Dr Pius Tih said.
A technical team is expected to be put in place for the effective implementation of the project while the working group will begin effective sensitization ahead of the World Club Foot Day on June 1.
According to statistics from the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services, club foot is one of the major causes of disabilities in children with about 1000 cases each year.