A RETIRED surgeon has told Darlington school children of his efforts to help reduce cases of clubfoot among infants in his native Bangladesh.
Dr Ajit Sarker spoke to youngsters at Corporation Road Primary School on Monday (January 28).
He told them how he was shocked to discover how many babies were suffering from the condition, in which the foot appears rotated inwardly at the ankle.
Although the condition is no more common from one country to another, it is easily treated in the UK, while a combination of factors mean sufferers in Bangladesh often go without treatment.
Dr Sarker talked about this with the children and how he and Darlington Rotary Club now seek to raise awareness of the problem but also the good work of Zero Clubfoot, a charitable organisation based in the Chittagong region of the country.
The children learned that 95 per cent of cases can be treated by a bandage cast in just six weeks, costing just £10.
Headteacher Peter King said the children were enthralled by Dr Sarker’s story and the school is to devise a fundraising initiative to help support the charity.
Mr King said: “When I first learned of the desperate problem of clubfoot in Bangladesh but how easily and cheaply it can be treated, I knew that it would be something our children would want to help with.
“Dr Sarker explained this to the children and they identified with the plight and unfairness of fellow children, perhaps even more so because a number of our youngsters also come from Bangladeshi families themselves.
“We are now all very keen to improve the life chances of those born in less fortunate circumstances.”
Dr Sarker worked in Manchester and Darlington during his career, before retiring to Darlington.