Ridding the world of polio

LinkedIN post – Dr Angela Evans – Dec 9, 2015

The campaign to rid the world of polio, the crippling yet very preventable disease that was once endemic across the world (mostly confined to Pakistan and Afghanistan now) is “close to total success” , according to Bill Gates this week –
Closely involved and committed to ensuring a world without polio, it is reported that Bill and Melinda Gates have distributed US$34.5 billion to eradicate ‘diseases’ in the developing world – (December, 2015) – including polio, and also targeting malaria.
Polio or poliomyelitis is an infectious disease (caused by the poliovirus) which causes weakness that mostly affects the legs and feet (as well as chest, neck..). Polio is one of the causes of an acquired clubfoot deformity – as the nerves supplying specific leg/foot muscles are damaged.
Whilst Walk for Life ( mainly deal with the more typical, more common and congenital type of clubfoot, we do periodically see polio clubfeet, which are just as disabling for the affected child.
Together, the UAE’s foreign aid budget and the Gates’, have instigated a campaign that has seen over 86 million vaccines being administered in Pakistan. Thousands of television commercials were used to deal with ignorance about vaccination. The number of reported polio cases in Pakistan in 2014 was 328, and so far in 2015 it is 38 – a great result and a wonderful gift to the recipients!

walkforlifeauRidding the world of polio
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Less risk of infection, a good thing on all fronts…

Dr Angela Evans – Australian Goodwill Ambassador – Walk for Life – Glencoe Foundation
Less risk of infection, a good thing on all fronts..
Sep 22, 2015 LinkedIn Post

Last week it was reported that developing world countries are now showing an increase in antibiotic resistance:

As with any issue affecting the developing world, such a problem will potentially affect huge numbers of people, due simply to the scale of populations. Whilst in many ways it’s good that incomes are rising in the developing world, enabling more people access to health care, this also means that the sizeable challenge of antibiotic overuse and subsequent resistance is spreading in low income / high population countries.

Relevant then, is the use of the non-surgical Ponseti method of correction of congenital clubfoot, a condition affecting an estimated 200,000 newborns globally per annum, 80% of whom arrive in a developing country.

Uncorrected clubfoot deformity is a misery for the afflicted child, a burden and a grief for the family. The disabled child who can’t walk easily, is disadvantaged physically, and a drain on the family finances as they grow up needing to eat, but without being able for work and earning.

“A crucial shift has been the management of the congenital paediatric clubfoot (talipes equino varus). Longitudinal observation and investigation has seen the non-surgical Ponseti method now adopted globally as ‘best practice’, largely relegating the surgical posterior medial release (PMR). How extraordinary that the inexpensive Ponseti method also provides the best clinical outcomes!”

Sure, the non-surgical Ponseti method does still carry some infection risk – involving a percutaneous tenotomy (aka ‘tiny cut’) of the the achilles tendon, and plaster casts and the brace boots can rub skin sores if not well applied/fitted. Overall though, this technique has a minimal infection risk, gives the best long-term results, and is least expensive. All of these factors matter, and with increasing antibiotic resistance in the developing world, any less infection prone intervention will be both wise and advantageous.

Please see more about ‘Walk for Life’ which provides FREE clubfoot correction, using the low infection risk Ponseti method, for babies and infants in Bangladesh – and for just A$120:
Treatment funding depends on donations, so please feel free to ‘sign up’ as a donor (tax deductible, hugely appreciated!).

walkforlifeauLess risk of infection, a good thing on all fronts…
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Podiatrists Support Walk for Life

Walk for Life (WFL) results were presented at the biennial Australian Podiatry conference, with great support from the principal sponsor Briggate Medical, and the Australasian Podiatry Council.

walkforlifeauPodiatrists Support Walk for Life
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Shohel’s Story

Shohel is a child from a very remote village in the Bhola district. He was born with congenital clubfoot and both of his feet were affected. His poor parents went door to door in search of the cure for this “deformity” of their child, but

walkforlifeauShohel’s Story
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