Government of Canada

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

www.international.gc.ca

Harper Government partners with University of British Columbia to introduce innovative treatment of clubfoot in Bangladesh

March 15, 2013

New Westminster, British Columbia—People living in Bangladesh will have faster detection and treatment of clubfoot thanks to a partnership between the Harper Government and the University of British Columbia. Today, the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), on behalf of the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation, announced support for the Sustainable Clubfoot Care Program.

"The Harper Government is committed to increasing the quality of life of children and youth as an international assistance priority," said Minister of State Wong. "Through this partnership with the University of British Columbia, Canadians can take pride in the progress being made to help alleviate the suffering of children with clubfoot."

This investment will help the University of British Columbia increase capacity in Bangladesh for more effective detection and treatment of the estimated 5,000 children per year born with clubfoot in that country. Clubfoot can cause discrimination, limitation of educational and earning opportunities, and is a contributing cause of poverty.

"Our Government is working with Canadian universities to deliver tangible results for those most in need around the world," added Minister of State Wong. "By tapping into the expertise of the University of British Columbia, Canada will help to improve clubfoot treatment within Bangladesh's healthcare system."

"The University of British Columbia is grateful to the Government of Canada for its generosity and vision," said Dr. Shafique Pirani, Clinical Professor, University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine. "The Government of Canada's support will allow us to scale up this project to alter the life trajectories of thousands of children, making a discernible difference in Bangladeshi society and providing a worldwide model for treating clubfoot in low-income countries."

This project will be funded through CIDA's Partners for Development Program for $4,320,160.

For more information, please visit CIDA's University Partners page.

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For more information, media should contact:

Daniel Bezalel Richardsen
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation
Telephone: 819-953-6238
Email: danielbezalel.richardsen@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Telephone: 819-953-6534
Email: media@acdi-cida.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter: @CIDA_CA


Backgrounder

CIDA's Partners for Development Program aims to leverage the development expertise and initiative of Canadians by funding the most meritorious proposals put forward by Canadian organizations to deliver development results on the ground. Following a 2011 call for proposals, CIDA is partnering with Canadian universities to implement targeted development projects around the world for up to five years.

These selected Canadian universities will work with institutions and organizations in developing countries to ensure that the results will directly benefit people in need. Their projects will stimulate sustainable economic growth, secure the future of children and youth, increase food security, and improve the health of mothers, newborns and children.

Below is the successful project that was announced today as a result of this call for proposals.

University of British Columbia

Sustainable clubfoot treatment in Bangladesh

Local Partners: BRAC and the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR, B)

In Bangladesh, an estimated 5,000 children a year are born with a clubfoot. This is a major cause of poverty, as it results in discrimination and limits educational and earning opportunities. This project will:

  • Treat 25,000 children born with a clubfoot;
  • Train 30,000 community health workers in clubfoot treatment; and
  • Establish national guidelines for using the Ponseti method of clubfoot treatment.