Based on the Seychelles birth rates and a population of about 88 000 – 90 000, an estimated three children are born annually with clubfoot. However, there were many more older neglected cases, relapses after surgery, and disabled people living in this area because of failed treatment.
Seychelles is divided into 25 administrative regions that comprise all of the inner islands. There are hospitals on the islands of Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue. The Seychelles Hospital is the national referral hospital, and is located in Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles, on the island of Mahe.
Ninety percent of Seychellois live on the island of Mahe, and most of the rest live on Praslin and La Digue, with the remaining population living on smaller islands that are sparsely populated.
In July 2013, Steps South Africa met with the Director of Rehabilitation Services of the Seychelles Ministry of Health (MoH) to discuss starting a Ponseti clubfoot clinic programme.
Steps and the MoH collaborated to arrange a Ponseti training workshop in Mahe in April 2014. 16 delegates attended this training, which was the first held in the Indian Ocean Islands.
Until the training was held, clubfoot patients were receiving serial casting, followed by surgery by visiting surgeons. Many others were considered failed cases, and lived with disability. This training gives the people of the Seychelles the means to manage an effective clubfoot treatment programme. The Seycyelles Ministry of Health runs the Ponseti clinic through the Physiotherapy department based at the Mahe hospital, with assistance from visiting surgeons from Reunion island. Steps provided educational materials and clubfoot braces to establish the programme and improve sustainability.
The media covered the Ponseti training on TV news, and in Seychelles Nation http://steps.org.za//wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Seychelles-Nation.pdf