Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 101, Issue 4, pp 341–344 | Cite as

Incidence of Clubfoot in Uganda

  • Richard G. Mathias
  • Joseph Konde Lule
  • Gonzaga Waiswa
  • Edward K. Naddumba
  • Shafique Pirani
  • Uganda Sustainable Clubfoot Care Project
Quantitative Research



While the congenital clubfoot deformity is a common deformity recorded in Uganda, the incidence of the condition had never been accurately determined. The objective of this study was to measure the overall incidence of congenital clubfoot deformity in a representative sample of births.


A study of all babies born with foot anomalies took place from March 2006 to October 2007. The study was based at 8 Regional Hospitals with active maternity units and a functioning clubfoot clinic. All babies with foot deformities at birth at any of eight centres as detected by the delivery room staff were referred to the respective centre’s clubfoot clinic. The children were examined by clubfoot clinic orthopedic officers who diagnosed the specific deformity. Children referred to the clinic from any source and born at the maternity unit were included in the study. The denominator was all live births at the centre during the study period.


The total number of live births during the study period was 110,336. The maternity units of the centres identified 290 infants with a foot deformity. One hundred and thirty infants born during the study period were diagnosed in the clubfoot clinic as having a congenital clubfoot deformity. The proportion of infants with a clubfoot deformity was 1.2 per 1000 births over the 20-month period. The male to female ratio was 2.4:1.


The rate of clubfoot deformities in the newborn can be used to estimate the numbers of children who should be treated and to estimate resource needs for the identification and management of this treatable congenital malformation. By comparing the number of those treated with the expected number of cases, the numbers of children with neglected clubfoot can be calculated.

Key words

Clubfoot incidence gender ratio 



Quoique le pied bot soit une déformation congénitale fréquente en Ouganda, cette déformation n’a jamais été observée en détail. L’objectif de cette étude est de mesurer la fréquence du pied bot parmi un échantillon représentatif de naissances.


En mars 2006, les données ont été recueillies dans huit hôpitaux généraux ayant une pouponnière et une clinique pour le pied bot. Parmi l’ensemble des nouveaux nés, ceux ayant une déformation ont été dirigés vers une clinique se spécialisant dans le traitement du pied bot. Les orthopédistes de cette clinique ont posé leur diagnostique pour chacune des déformations. Ce sont uniquement les bébés référés à la clinique par les huit hôpitaux qui font l’objet de cette étude.


Pendant la durée de l’étude (mars 2006 à octobre 2007), un total de 110 336 naissances vivantes a été enregistré. Les pouponnières ont identifié 290 bébés ayant une déformation. Puis, les orthopédistes de la clinique spécialisée ont diagnostiqué 130 bébés avec une déformation congénitale du pied bot. Proportionnellement, les enfants avec une déformation du pied bot se chiffre à 1,2 par 1000 naissances, pour cette période de 20 mois. Le ratio garçon/fille est de 2,4:1.


Le taux de déformation congénitale du pied bot chez les nouveaux nés peut être utilisé pour déterminer le nombre d’enfants devant être traités, ainsi que pour évaluer les montants nécessaires pour l’identification et l’administration de cette déformation inhérente soignable. En comparant la quantité d’enfants traités avec le nombre prévu de cas, il est possible de calculer le nombre d’enfants ayant un pied bot négligé.

Mots clés

pied bot fréquence ratio garçon/fille 


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard G. Mathias
    • 1
  • Joseph Konde Lule
    • 2
  • Gonzaga Waiswa
    • 3
  • Edward K. Naddumba
    • 3
  • Shafique Pirani
    • 4
  • Uganda Sustainable Clubfoot Care Project
  1. 1.School of Population and Public HealthUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.School of Public HealthMakerere UniversityKampalaUganda
  3. 3.Department of OrthopedicsMulago HospitalKampalaUganda
  4. 4.Department of OrthopedicsUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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