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Bracing up for the Wadia Brace Bank - W-Riddhi

Wadia Hospital Starts Brace Bank For Clubfoot Kids

Also launches Each-One-Treat-One scheme

Conjoined, separated twins Riddhi-Siddhi open Wadia project

MUMBAI, June 7 (The CONNECT) - The Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital For Children, Parel, Mumbai started India’s first Brace Bank W-Riddhi - named after a girl born at the hospital.  

The hospital has now invited parents and doctors to donate used clubfoot braces to the Brace Bank, where they are refurbished and supplied to needy families at a very low cost of Rs 1,500  per child every month under the “Each one treat one scheme”.

Conjoined twins, Ridhi and Sidhi who have since been separated in 2014, formally inaugurated the Brace Bank. Abandoned by their parents, the girls, who have been treated for clubfoot, are staying at the hospital itself.

Clubfoot is the most common musculoskeletal birth deformity affecting about 1 in 800 children. Untreated clubfoot is an important cause of long-term physical and emotional disability in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) due to lack of accessibility to quality healthcare and systemic inequities.

As high as 80% of clubfoot children are born in LMICs and it is estimated that over 200,000 children are born with clubfoot each year and approximately 35,000 in India alone. Wadia Hospital partnered with CURE Clubfoot Worldwide in 2011, a US-based NGO to establish a dedicated Clubfoot Clinic in the hospital premises to provide a protocol-based clubfoot treatment by training doctors in the Ponseti method, providing free clubfoot braces, establishing a prospective clubfoot registry, and setting a 24x7 dedicated clubfoot helpline for parent support. Now, it is taken a step ahead and established India’s first Brace Bank W-riddhi meaning progress.

Dr Rujuta Mehta HOD, Department of Paediatric Orthopaedics, Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children, said, “Rather than depending on NGOs for support, we are now encouraging parents and doctors to donate used clubfoot braces to the Brace Bank, where they are refurbished and supplied to needy families at a very low cost. “Our vast database of over 1,500 patients is uploaded in-house by Wadia staff on a special online portal of the International Clubfoot Registry (ICR), hosted by the University of Iowa, USA. We are collaborating with international universities such as University of Toronto and University of Oxford for various research projects related to developing outcome tools and treatment guidelines for late presenting clubfoot.”

Dr Mehta said, “None of this would have been possible without the unstinted support and encouragement of Wadia Hospitals CEO, Dr. Minnie Bodhanwala, the trustees and Administration of Wadia Hospitals. She has been the beacon of inspiration and a leading light in the creation of a self-sustaining unit which has become a path breaker over the past 10 years.”

“Over the past 10 years, we have treated over 1,500 children with clubfeet, making it one of the largest clubfoot treatment centers in India. Besides idiopathic clubfeet, we have developed special expertise in treating syndromic clubfeet, atypical clubfeet, and children who present with untreated clubfoot after the walking age. The aim is to provide uninterrupted treatment with the introduction of clubfoot braces at an affordable cost,” concluded Dr Minnie Bodhanwala, CEO of Wadia Hospital.

Photo caption: 

L to R : Dr Shakuntala Prabhu, Medical Director, Dr Rujuta Mehta, HOD of Orthopaedic Department, Dr Minnie Bodhanwala, CEO of the hospital and Conjoined twins Riddhi Siddhi, Dr ALARIC Aroojis

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