The Global Clubfoot Initiative (GCI) is an international coalition of member organisations, all supporting children affected by clubfoot. GCI uses advocacy, education and collaboration to achieve greater impact through working together and enabling action towards a world free of clubfoot disability. The condition affects around 1/850 children born worldwide, 90% in low and middle income countries (LMIC) and if not treated, causes severe, lifelong disability.
Early effective treatment by the evidence-based Ponseti method is simple, low-cost and transforms a child’s life from one of social exclusion, pain and loss of mobility, education and future opportunities to a life where they can run and play with their friends, wear normal shoes, go to school and look forward to a productive future. In many of the poorest countries, successful national clubfoot programmes provide this highly effective treatment for less than $400USD per child.
In the decade from 2005-2015 effective treatment expanded in many LMIC. In 2005 fewer than 1000 children in three LMIC received Ponseti treatment; this rose exponentially to nearly 32,000 children in 58 countries in 2017! Some, including Rwanda and Bangladesh, have been able to reach more than 70% of children with treatment.
Despite this impressive progress our current estimate is that only 20% of the 157,000 children born annually with clubfoot in LMIC gain access to effective treatment. In 2017, GCI brought together our members to build on this progress and increase the momentum for growth through the launch of RunFree2030, a joint strategy towards our vision of a world where every child gets effective treatment, and disability caused by clubfoot is ended.
GCI is governed by a Board of eight Trustees; the secretariat is led by Executive Director, Rosalind Owen, with a small staff team. We have 38 member organisations working worldwide to support the provision of treatment for children with clubfoot.