Dillsburg, PA (May 18, 2020) – Hope Walks, a non-profit that treats children with clubfoot in Latin America and Africa, has announced it will be starting a partner clinic in its 17th country, Sudan, in the Fiscal Year 2021.
The new clinic will be in partnership with Khartoum Cheshire Home, a center for the rehabilitation of children with disabilities, and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Funding will come largely from Leo’s Box and its campaign to provide care for the disabled, advance health and relieve poverty. The clinic will be established in Khartoum, the capital city of the Republic of the Sudan.
What is clubfoot?
Clubfoot is a deformity present at birth that twists the foot downward and inward, making walking difficult or impossible. While it cannot be prevented, it can be corrected using a relatively inexpensive treatment process called the Ponseti method, the gold standard of clubfoot treatment.
The initial process involves weekly casting for four to eight weeks and, in most cases, a minimally-invasive outpatient procedure to lengthen the Achilles tendon. After this, in the maintenance phase, children wear a foot abduction brace for 23 hours a day for three months, and then at night and nap time until the age of five. Children born with clubfoot can take their first steps on completely straight feet thanks to early intervention and to this relatively simple, cost-effective treatment method.
Nearly 1,600 children are born with clubfoot in Sudan each year. The Hope Walks partner clinic in Khartoum will initially be able to treat at least 175 kids a year using the Ponseti method and as many as 400 once completely up-to-speed.
“Being born with a disability in a low- or middle-income country isn’t just a financial hardship, it’s a life-altering source of shame, but it doesn’t have to be that way,” Hope Walks President Scott Reichenbach said. “Hope Walks is excited about this new clinic in Sudan, which will offer the same life transformation and hope to these kids and their families that we provide in other countries.”
Hope Walks’ approach is unique. It builds clubfoot treatment programs by forming a network of partnerships with Ministries of Health and organizations like the Khartoum Cheshire Home and the ICRC to train and equip local healthcare providers and provide dedicated parent support and education.
Hope Walks is part of the Global Clubfoot Initiative and its Run Free 2030 campaign. The campaign’s goal is to provide access to treatment for at least 70% of children born with clubfoot in low- and middle-income countries by 2030. Currently, less than 15% of children in these countries access treatment. This expansion into Sudan will help in meeting the Run Free 2030 goal.
About Hope Walks: What began in 2006 as CURE Clubfoot Worldwide has grown into Hope Walks—and we plan to keep going (and keep growing) until all children have access to quality care for clubfoot. We currently partner with 136 clinics in 16 countries in Latin America and Africa. We pair quality clubfoot treatment with compassionate care from counselors (called parent advisors), all while empowering local healthcare workers and educating parents and caregivers.