Posted by Liz Nichols on Jun 11, 2019
Patty Roberts, an Iowa City Noon Rotarian involved with Rag4Clubfoot, was our speaker.
Visiting Rotarians and Guests
Patty Roberts and Theresa Baker, Iowa City Noon Rotary
A sign-up went around for volunteers to help with registration and other duties for the Bike Ride Fundraiser on Saturday, June 15 between 8 am and 1 pm.  Check with Dick Huber if you are able to serve in this way.
The Year-Ender is a week from Friday at Ann Romanowski's house from 6 to 8:30 pm.  A sign up sheet is going around.  Please bring a dish to share and a bottle of wine or six-pack of beer to share. Swim suits are "optional."
Happy bucks sampling:  Deb and John Ockenfels are glad to be back from Germany where they visited the little southern Germany town named for the Ockenfels family.  The Langenfelds took their daughter, Katie, to the family farm to help clean out after a mom had been moved to a care facility.  Mike Messier had the daughter who lives in Maui home for awhile.  Peggy Doerge is glad to be back at Rotary after successful knee surgery.  Dick gave happy bucks to celebrate the bike ride event and because someone donated a $5 when members were sorting cans at Dodge Street last Saturday.  The six people who sorted cans last Saturday probably made us another $700.
Patty Roberts was the primary speaker on the Ponseti Method, Ponseti International and its relationship with the Rotary Rag4Clubfoot interest group.  Patty volunteers her time in the clubfoot clinic at UIHC and is active in Rag4Clubfoot.
Roberts said 1 in 750 births worldwide have a clubfoot condition, or around 200,000 per year.  There are over 1 million with the uncorrected condition world-wide.  Children with this condition can't walk very well.  They tend to walk on the sides of their feet.  Because they can't walk well they become outcasts and rarely are able to go to school.  They suffer from weakness and deformity all their lives and suffer many emotional and economic problems throughout their lives if the problem is not corrected before they become teenagers.
For many years it was thought that only surgery could correct this condition.  However, many who had surgery have pain and issues of relapse of the condition by the time they are 30.  The Ponseti method of bone and tissue manipulation and casting has been clinically proven to be a more effective and less expensive method of correcting the problem.  The earlier the problem is corrected the better.  Children undergo around 6 casts about a week apart and may go through several years of treatments.  In between and after the casts are off the children are fitted with braced shoes to wear at night to hold the position.  Without the braces the feet will eventually go back to an abnormal position, much like teeth that have gone through orthodontia.
Ponseti was originally from Spain and was invited to work with Dr. Steindler at UI Hospitals in the 1940's.  One of his research studies was on the effectiveness of surgery on clubfoot, and his research confirmed that the method of casts was a more effective method than surgery.
Ponseti International has carried on teaching the method to doctors around the world since 2006.  There are over 500 medical professionals and hundreds of volunteer advocates involved in over 75 countries.  The Rag4Clubfoot interest group began about 9 years ago to help support the training effort, to support families of clubfoot victims, to serve as a global clearinghouse and project coordinator, and to promote public awareness and to advocate to government and health officials world-wide for the Ponseti method.
One recent RI global grant went to train 28 doctors in Columbia who will operate clinics in 17 of the 24 states of Columbia.  It is expected that 32,000 children will be helped by this project in Columbia at a cost of less than $108,000. 
The training programs, supported by RI Global Grants have the goal of training 4000 doctors world-wide over a 10 year period.  Another goal is to distribute cases of braces costing about $25/brace in cases costing $900.  The braces are then distributed free to the end users and their families.