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04 October 2021
16:30 UK / 11:30 EST

Webinar Summary: Clubfoot - Time to Act!

We have all the right people to work together from experts, NGO's and research teams, let’s all work together, put our heads together and reach out to the missing links... we need to make sure that our mission and message gets to every individual, every child who is right now living with limited access to treatment or just to make their lives a little better.

Aisha Mballo

About the Webinar

A new report by the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) for AT2030 was published in July this year. The report aims to drive improvements for millions of children and adults with clubfoot to reach their full potential and has collated a variety of recommendations to ensure that progress is made.

Clubfoot affects an estimated 200,000 children a year, 144,000 of whom cannot access its treatment. Although it affects more children than most other structural birth defects, and even though virtually all children can achieve lifelong mobility without surgery through the use of assistive technology (AT), many governments and bilateral donors still do not view clubfoot intervention as a priority newborn health issue.

This webinar was attended by over 100 members of audience with stimulating conversation from the panel around the next steps in driving the AT2030 report findings forward. The panel included key stakeholders from across WHO, USAID, FCDO, MiracleFeet and Global Clubfoot Initiative who discussed how disabled people with clubfoot can realise their human rights through the breaking down of silos, stigma and the removal of barriers that prevent people from accessing appropriate, affordable AT alongside the skilled personnel necessary.

We can do hard things, we can do this, lets meet in 6 months time and see what progress is made!

Victoria Austin

Logos for organisations involved: GDI Hub, AT2030, Miraclefeet, World Health Organisation, Global Clubfoot Initiative, Clinton Health Access Initiative, UK Aid
Logos for organisations involved: GDI Hub, AT2030, Miraclefeet, World Health Organisation, Global Clubfoot Initiative, Clinton Health Access Initiative, UK Aid
Vicki Austin smiling
Vicki Austin
CEO, Global Disability Innovation C.I.C.

Professor Chris Lavy

Surgeon and Trustee of Global Clubfoot Initiative and Miracle Feet. Chris Lavy qualified at St Bartholomew’s Medical College in 1982 after a BSc in Anthropology at University College London. He trained in orthopaedic surgery on the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital rotation and in 1992 became a Consultant in orthopaedic and hand surgery at The Middlesex Hospital and University College Hospital in London. In 1996 he left to work with the Christian medical charity CBM International and was appointed to an Honorary Professorship at the University of Malawi College of Medicine.

Louise Puli

Louise Puli is member of the assistive technology team at the World Health Organization. She is a certified orthotist/prosthetist and holds qualifications in public health policy and management, and in tertiary education, learning and curriculum design. Louise’s clinical background focussed on paediatric orthotics and she was an active member of teams managing clubfoot. She, along with the WHO Assistive Technology team are excited to see clubfoot in the spotlight and look forward to collaborating with partners to build momentum to increased access to clubfoot braces.

Ayesha De Costa

Ayesha de Costa is Scientist at the Maternal Newborn Child and Adolescent Health and Ageing (MCA) Department at the World Health Organization. In this role she supports research, country programs and guideline development in the area of newborn and child health. She has recently begun work as the focal point at the department for congenital defects. Ayesha has a degree in Medicine and is trained in epidemiology. She worked with bilateral assistance to strengthen programs for maternal and child health in resource limited settings as well as academically in the area. The MCA department at the WHO sees congenital birth defects as an important priority and is promotes the detection and management of congenital defects including club foot.

Aisha Mballo

Aisha Mballo was born with bilateral clubfoot in Senegal in 1981. At 16, she moved to the United States in pursuit of treatment. Today, she lives in Dakar, has a black belt in Karate, and is a champion for inclusive, accessible health services for all people with disabilities.