Cameroon poised to include the Ponseti Method in Curricula of Medical Training Institutions

Cameroon poised to include the Ponseti Method in Curricula of Medical Training Institutions

Medical students in Cameroon will henceforth acquire skills to treat clubfoot in children. According to Resolution 9 of the 10th session of the National Commission for Medical, Pharmaceutical and Odontostomatological Training of Cameroon, held in Yaoundé, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, the Ponseti method will be integrated in the training curricula of doctors in Medical Training establishments. The sessions, usually presided over by the Minister of Higher Education, Pr. Jacques Fame Ndongo, are intended to provide technical opinions and reforms aimed at improving and consolidating the quality of academic, technological and professional training of health practitioners in medical higher education training institutions.

Club foot, a birth defect that makes one or both of a baby’s feet point down and turn in. As of 2020, clubfoot affected about 1000 new births in Cameroon yearly, and usually required surgery to be treated. As a result of the complications and poor outcomes following surgery, the Ponseti Method consisting of two phases; the corrective or casting phase, which moves the foot to its original position, and the maintenance or bracing phase which ensures the foot stays in its place, became the international gold standard of treatment because of its better outcomes.

The Ponseti method has been in use in Cameroon by the CBC Health Services through the Cameroon Clubfoot Care Project initiated in 2014 which trained over 150 physiotherapy staff before the method was officially recognized in 2019 following a ministerial decision signed by the Minister of Health. The integration of this method in public and private medical training institutions is a step forward in the treatment of clubfoot in Cameroon.