Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024


A psychiatrist practising in the United Kingdom, Dr. Mrs Gloria Harrison, has called for support for persons with clubfoot to enable them combat the feelings of inadequacy, as the global village celebrates the year 2024 edition of World Clubfoot Day.

In a release made available to our correspondent through WhatsApp, Dr. Mrs. Harrison, who is also the Secretary General of a charity organization known as Harrison Goodness Foundation, HGF said that people with clubfoot are individuals with unique strengths and talents, hence the need for the government, Nongovernmental Organizations, the community and parents to help them defeat the psychological impact that comes with clubfoot.

According to her, by addressing the psychological impact, fostering acceptance, and providing support, we can empower them to live fulfilling and meaningful lives, in an inclusive environment.

Dr. Mrs. Harrison who further explained that clubfoot can impact a person’s ability to participate in physical activities, which could lead to frustration and feelings of inadequacy, also explained that, “Clubfoot can affect a child’s self-esteem and body image”.

Pix: Dr. Mrs. Gloria Harrison.

“Persons with clubfoot may feel different from their peers and struggle to accept their physical appearance. In some cultures, clubfoot can be stigmatized, leading to social isolation and discrimination. The challenges associated with clubfoot, such as repeated surgeries or therapies, can cause emotional distress and anxiety. Children and adults with clubfoot may worry about being rejected by others due to their condition”, she stated further.

The psychiatrist who called for public awareness campaigns, establishment of support groups, and educational programs; ensuring accessibility to healthcare, therapies, and support services for individuals with clubfoot is crucial, asserted that educating the community about clubfoot would also help to reduce stigma and promote understanding.

She further stated that creating inclusive environments in schools, workplaces, and recreational spaces would also help people with clubfoot feel welcome and accepted.

Her words, “Parents can play a vital role in building their child’s self-esteem and confidence. Encouraging their child’s participation in activities and emphasizing their strengths can have a powerful impact.

“Seeking treatment early can improve the outcome for children with clubfoot, making it easier for them to adapt and manage the condition. Talking openly and honestly with their child about clubfoot can help them understand and cope with the challenges they may face. Connecting with other families who have children with clubfoot can provide valuable support and resources”.

She passionately appealed to the government and well-meaning Nigerians to provide financial assistance for clubfoot treatment, therapy, and assistive devices and also help make these services accessible to everyone.

Pix: A child with Clubfoot.

Dr. Mrs Harrison who also recommended that fund be made available for a research into new treatments and technologies can improve the lives of people with clubfoot, also suggested that laws that protect the rights of people with disabilities, including access to education, employment, and social services, be enacted as it remains critical.


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