BRITISH COLUMBIA

UBC program gets $4.3 million in funding for Bangladeshi kids with clubfoot

03/15/2013 02:07 EDT | Updated 05/15/2013 05:12 EDT
VANCOUVER - A $4.3 million Canadian grant will soon be helping thousands of babies in Bangladesh born with clubfoot.

The funding from the Canadian International Development Agency will support a project led by two University of British Columbia professors.

The project will train health workers in Bangladesh to perform low-cost, non-surgical procedures that involves a series of casts on the ankles of babies.

Project Leaders Shafique Pirani and Richard Mathais hope to replicate the success the project had in Uganda, where 1,100 children were saved from a lifetime of hardship.

Dr. Pirani has helped revive a clubfoot treatment used as far back as 1940, that is especially helpful to developing countries, where there's a shortage of surgeons.

Pirani says he hopes that once the co-ordinated response is demonstrated in Bangladesh, more countries will follow and within a generation the clubfoot will no longer be the global scourge that it is today.