Hikers Barbados and local charity Life-After Curve took to the streets yesterday morning to educate the public about the challenges faced by people who suffer from scoliosis.
The inaugural hike was done to raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of scoliosis among children and adults, and raise funds for those who need immediate assistance.
The hike, which made stops at historic landmarks on the South Coast, was headed by historian Trevor Marshall and was attended by scoliosis patients, parents and guardians. The hikers interacted with curious onlookers, supplying them with information and accepting donations along the two-mile trail.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY, president of Life-After Curve Blanche Goring quoted statistics from the National Scoliosis Foundation (NSF), which indicated that, internationally, 30,000 children have to wear a back brace for scoliosis and another 100,000 diagnosed children and adults were undergoing surgery.
She pointed out that the condition had negative social and health effects on children in particular.
“Scoliosis has the potential to keep children from playing sports, cause severe back pain, limit mobility, affect posture and rob a child of his or her self-esteem,” Goring said.
“Most scoliosis sufferers are children who, without monitoring or treatment, could be robbed of their childhood.”
It is against this background, she said, that early diagnosis is key.
“If scoliosis is detected early enough, doctors have treatments that could stop the progression of the condition. If it does progress, doctors have ways to reduce the size of the curve,” Goring pointed out.
The charity has also been disseminating information to primary, secondary and tertiary institutions, and volunteers have diagnosed students suffering from the ailment who required immediate assistance, revealed Goring.