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Dr Charlotte Hawkins is transforming the lives of disabled children in Zanzibar


From a world of suffering to one of hope, how Dr Charlotte Hawkins is transforming the lives of disabled children in Zanzibar.


Every day hundreds of children in Africa are born with Club Foot, a disability affecting one or both feet. Without treatment they will only be able to crawl for the rest of their lives. The life chances for these children are bleak.

After visitng Zanzibar and seeing the cruel, hard reality of the problem first hand Dr Charlotte Hawkins set up a clinic to help combat the increasing problem of club foot on the African island and the Infant Club Foot Appeal (ICA) was born.

The charity established the island’s first club foot clinic at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital in Stone Town with the aim of training clinic staff in the effective use of the Ponseti Method using donated materials and equipment.

Liverpool based Algeos, is a leading supplier in orthotics and prosthetics, has been a supporter of the Infant Club Foot Appeal for over four years. In that time, with the help of leading industry partners, much needed O&P donations have helped to equip the clinic in Zanzibar to transform the lives of thousands of disabled children with clubfoot and other feet deformities.

The latest shipment of O&P equipment and materials left Liverpool on 31st May, 2018 on a journey of just under 5,000 miles to Pemba Island, part of Tanzania's Zanzibar Archipelago, where a much needed new clinic will be created.

Dr Charlotte Hawkins, founder of the
Infant Club Foot Appeal
Loading the donations into a
20ft container

From left; Jackie Fisher, CEO, Algeos,
Dr Charlotte Hawkings, Max Sheridan, Commercial Director, Algeos

A number of Algeos partners worked together to source the products and equipment for the clinic including Blatchford, Trulife, Buchanans, De Novo, QMC, Superfeet and Birmingham Children's Hospital.

   


Club foot is a foot deformity affecting one or both feet. In Zanzibar, as many as 50 babies a month are born with their feet turned inwards and upwards. Without treatment these children will only be able to crawl for the rest of their lives.

The Ponseti Method uses a gentle, manual manipulation of the foot, followed by the application of toe-to-groin plaster casts.

Dr Hawkins is a specialist in lower limb paediatrics in Harley Street, London, who was moved to set up the ICA charity after witnessing the scale of the problem in Zanzibar.

Dr Hawkins said: “Algeos is very generous, the team has been phenomenal and I'd especially like to thank Shaun Large and Max Sheridan who are fantastic, I wouldn't want to work with anybody else.”
 
Max Sheridan, Commercial Director commented: "The shipment we have sent today with much needed supplies wouldn't have been possible without the terrific support of our customers generosity. It's a fantastic cause and having a young family myself it particularly strikes a chord. I encourage you to view the below video to see the real, fantastic difference that Dr Hawkins and her team are making to thousands of children in Zanzibar."
 


 

 


Background

Dr. Charlotte Hawkins, a specialist in lower limb paediatrics in Harley Street London, collaborated with Algeos (Leading Orthotics and Prosthetics supplier) to set up a clinic to handle an increasing problem of clubfoot at the island of Zanzibar in Africa.

Dr. Hawkins was astonished by the severity and scale of the problem in Zanzibar; working conditions were a far cry from a clinical treatment room of a Western standard, lack of supplies was a constant issue, mothers had to carry their disabled child for miles to get treatment, technicians with no training routinely unwittingly mis-casted patients which led to increased deformity, and witchcraft doctors poured boiling water over feet to "bring out the devil" that caused the disability, all of this was just the beginning. Furthermore there was a shortage of basic tools and the technicians were struggling to treat children using builders plaster and broken glass as cutting equipment.

Dr. Hawkins launched the Infant Club Foot Appeal charity and established the first clubfoot clinic at the Mnazi Mmoja Hospital in Stone Town (Zanzibar).  This charity is focused on training clinic staff in effective use of the Ponseti method, using the products and materials supplied by Algeos.


More Information in regards to the Infant Club Foot Appeal:

    www.infantclubfootappeal.org
    www.facebook.com/infantclubfootappealcharity