Sudan: Treating children affected by clubfoot

  • Asmaran has clubfoot on both feet. She is less than a month old. This is Asmaran's second visit to Khartoum Cheshire Home. Babies born with clubfoot have one or both feet facing inwards and downwards, preventing them from placing the soles of their feet flat on the ground. They are usually treated through rehabilitation. However, in some cases, tenotomy — a small surgical procedure — may be required
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mohamed Nureldin
  • Jesse Jake, an ICRC physiotherapist, is training physiotherapy assistants at Khartoum Cheshire Home to treat babies born with clubfoot. Detecting and treating clubfoot before a baby starts walking, prevents the child from a painful and difficult early walking experiences.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mohamed Nureldin
  • Three-month-old Amru undergoes an examination accompanied by his mother and grandmother. The mother said she was upset and worried when she found out her third child has clubfoot.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mohamed Nureldin
  • Jesse Jake, an ICRC physiotherapist, and Halima Anur, head of the physiotherapy department at Khartoum Cheshire Home, wrap a cast around a baby boy’s leg whilst his mother distracts him by feeding him.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mohamed Nureldin
  • Omer and his twin sister Samar live in Al-Jazeera State, a two-hour bus ride from Khartoum Cheshire Home. Samar does not have clubfoot, but Omar does, a situation that leads to one twin being able to play outside but not the other. Today the physiotherapist stretched Omer’s foot to a normal position, and secured it with a cast. Within a year, he will be able to walk and play outside with his sister.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mohamed Nureldin
  • Babies born with clubfoot have a series of casts to correct the position of the affected foot or feet.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mohamed Nureldin
  • In the operation theatre, the doctor performed a tenotomy, a surgical procedure to lengthen the baby's Achilles tendon to correct the position of his foot. This final stage of correction will allow the baby to place his feet flat on the ground.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mohamed Nureldin
  • After the ten-minute procedure, Joseph Ator Camilo, an anesthesiologist, examines the baby before handing him over to the family.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mohamed Nureldin
  • The mother and baby will rest in Khartoum Cheshire Home’s dormitory for a few hours. For families coming from outside of Khartoum, the dormitory is available for a longer stay if needed.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mohamed Nureldin
  • Seven-month-old Mustafa plays with his foot brace, as ICRC physiotherapist Jessie Jake finds the right fit. The brace will hold Mustafa's foot in the corrected position. He will have to wear the brace daily for 23 hours for the next three months.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mohamed Nureldin
  • Khartoum Cheshire Home staff make the children’s foot braces in the orthopedic workshop. The brace is worn by the affected babies in the final treatment stage, to keep the feet in the corrected position.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mohamed Nureldin
  • Mohamed Muslim, a shoemaker at Khartoum Cheshire Home, has worked at the facility for over 10 years. “I don’t do this work for the money. I do it for the expressions of gratitude from the families of the children, and because they shower me with prayers,” he says.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Asia Kambal
  • After a year of clubfoot treatment, one-year-old Yousif will be able to start walking normally. He will continue to wear a foot brace at bedtime for the next two years to ensure that his feet stay in the normal position.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Asia Kambal
25 October 2016

The ICRC works on improving access and quality of services available to people with disabilities, by providing technical and material support to centres nationwide run by the National Authority of Prosthetics and Orthotics (NAPO), as well as to the Khartoum Cheshire Home, a children's rehabilitation programme in Khartoum.

In Khartoum Cheshire Home, the ICRC provides training and materials to the clubfoot program, which rehabilitates babies born with clubfoot, enabling them to walk and lead a mobile life.