Looking at three-year-old Mark Henry Quilaton running all over the place, one would hardly believe that he is currently being treated for clubfoot, a deformity in which an infant’s foot is turned inward, often so severely that the bottom of the foot faces sideways or even upward. Mark’s mother, Mary Ann, said that when she gave birth to him at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center
(BGHMC), a doctor noticed the defect and encouraged her and husband, Warly, to have Mark immediately enrolled at the Clubfoot Clinic located at the same medical facility where treatment is free.

She said they followed the doctor’s advice and are very grateful for doing so because in November this year, when Mark turns four, his treatment will be completed. “Mark’s full recovery will be the best birthday gift of all. We are encouraging other parents whose children have clubfoot or know of anyone who does to advise them to enroll in the Clubfoot program which is totally free for the
duration of the treatment,” Mary Ann said in Filipino. The Quintalon family are residents of Asin barangay where Mary Ann is a housewife and Warly helps out in a store.

They were part of a media forum, July 5, at City Hall where Philippine Non-Government Organization Council (PNGOC) on Population, Health and Welfare executive director Chi Laigo Vallido revealed that around 4,000 children with clubfoot all over the country are currently being supported by its Clubfoot Program that started in 2018. As the Philippine National Clubfoot Program manager, she said about 79 patients are presently under the care of the BGHMC orthopedics department led by Dr. Antonio Nicanor Suero, Medical Specialist III, and a spine and
pedia specialist.

“We are grateful for all the support of Mayor Benjamin Magalong as we continue our activities in the city. Currently, we are working closely with the City Health Office related to the Universal Health Care (UHC) program in partnership with BGHMC and the Mayor’s office for our clubfoot program,” Vallido said. Daphne de Souza Lima Sorensen, chief executive office of MiracleFeet US which supports not only the Philippines’ clubfoot program but of many other countries as
well, disclosed that the congenital birth defect affects one in 800 babies around the world and that approximately 200,000 children worldwide are born with clubfoot every year.

Sorensen said around 800 patients are being treated for clubfoot in the Philippines every year which she says does not even represent the 20 percent of babies that are born with the defect in the country annually which is at least 2,500. “It’s a missed opportunity when a baby in the Philippines
is born with clubfoot and does not get referred to a clubfoot clinic. Currently there are over 30 clinics all over the country that provide quality and free treatment,” she said. Dr. Suero is enjoing parents whose child or children have clubfoot to visit the Clubfoot Clinic at BGHMC or call/text
0919-072-5439 or 0916-410-0411.

The clinic is open not only to Baguio residents but also those from other parts of the Cordillera region and the country. They could also check out the Clubfoot Baguio Facebook page for more information about the free program. Also serving as panelists during the forum were Dr. Rosalyn Flores of the University of Sto. Tomas and affiliated with the UST Hospital and Saint Luke’s Medical Center; and Hyacinth Babag, a physical therapist and site coordinator of the Benguet General Hospital MiracleFeet Clinic.

Gaby B. Keith/PIO

Amianan Balita Ngayon