MiracleFeet, a global charity committed to providing treatment and care for children born with clubfoot, is making a significant impact across the world. Working in 388 partner clinics in 36 countries, MiracleFeet is transforming the lives of thousands of children and their families each year.
MiracleFeet has pioneered a transformative approach to clubfoot treatment by collaborating with local healthcare providers and empowering and educating the parents of children born with clubfoot about treatment. By expanding clinic networks and training local medical professionals, the charity has significantly improved treatment accessibility in many low-income countries where access was previously nonexistent.
This month, we’re highlighting MiracleFeet’s work in seven countries to showcase their global impact.
1. Nepal, South Asia:
The Hospital and Rehabilitation Center for Disabled Children (HRDC) was the first organisation in Nepal to offer the Ponseti method to treat clubfoot. Their partnership with MiracleFeet began in 2015 and has expanded to include four clinics plus satellite services and community outreach. To date, HRDC has provided clubfoot treatment for over 3,625 children. To ensure treatment is available and accessible to all children who need it, no matter their location or their families’ financial situation, HRDC offers free accommodations, food, and travel subsidies.
2. Bangladesh, South Asia:
MiracleFeet’s partner in Bangladesh, the Sancred Foundation, is a non-profit and non-political national NGO established in 1997 focused on implementing charitable and social welfare-related activities for the disadvantaged. While Bangladesh has taken strides to improve its healthcare system, poverty is still a significant barrier to accessing clubfoot treatment. MiracleFeet is eliminating the financial hurdle by providing treatment at no cost to families. They are also increasing the number of skilled providers trained in the Ponseti method thereby expanding access to care.
In 2019, MiracleFeet, along with its partner providers, treated over 50% of the estimated annual clubfoot cases in Bangladesh. This year, MiracleFeet’s mission is to ensure that over 70% of those born with clubfoot receive treatment.
3. Brazil, Latin America:
In Brazil, MiracleFeet has built strong partnerships with local organisations, ensuring that children and their families receive continuous clubfoot treatment support.
MiracleFeet’s work in Brazil began in 2010, in partnership with Dr. Laura Ferreira. Not only is Dr. Ferreira Brazil’s first female orthopaedic surgeon, she also received her training from Dr. Ponseti himself—the namesake of the Ponseti method which he developed in the 1950’s.
Through MiracleFeet’s support and partnership with the University Hospital of São Paulo, hundreds of children with clubfoot have received treatment, giving them the chance to run, play, and live healthy and independent lives.
4. Zimbabwe, East Africa:
Zimbabwe has witnessed a significant reduction in untreated clubfoot, thanks to MiracleFeet’s efforts. By providing training and support, the charity has greatly increased clubfoot treatment accessibility.
In 2010, the Zimbabwe Sustainable Clubfoot Programme (ZSCP) was established due to the ongoing need for treatment of children born with clubfoot. In 2012, MiracleFeet partnered with the ZSCP allowing the program to add new clubfoot clinics in hospitals across the country. Despite growing political and economic challenges in Zimbabwe, ZSCP continues to provide quality treatment to thousands of clubfoot patients in 15 clinics throughout the country.
5. Morocco, North Africa:
Historically, access to clubfoot treatment was dependent on a family’s socio-economic status and the availability of trained providers in public and private health facilities. This changed in 2020 when MiracleFeet launched a partnership with Association Premier Pas (meaning First Step), the only Moroccan organisation exclusively dedicated to treating clubfoot. Throughout Morocco and in partnership with Premier Pas, MiracleFeet supports seven clinics and has treated over 1,000 patients, including several older patients.
6. The Gambia, West Africa:
In 2018, MiracleFeet conducted an assessment on the need for clubfoot treatment in The Gambia and found there was no comprehensive treatment program in the country. The lack of treatment availability was due to a lack of infrastructure, a lack of trained medical providers, and a lack of funding for treatment.
Shortly after the assessment, MiracleFeet began working with The Gambia Clubfoot Foundation (GCF) providing free treatment for those in need. MiracleFeet’s support also included technical and financial assistance to local healthcare clinics, providing braces and supplies for the Ponseti method, community awareness raising, and ensuring a clear pathway from maternity wards to clubfoot clinics. The GCF also has an outreach team that visits remote communities and villages to share information about clubfoot and how and where to find treatment.
7. Cambodia, Southeast Asia:
In Cambodia, MiracleFeet works in partnership with NextSteps, a non-profit providing treatment and support to children with physical disabilities, including clubfoot. This partnership began in 2017 and has already transformed the lives of over 1,000 children. The total clubfoot treatment package includes free treatment, foot abduction braces, and transportation subsidies. With support from MiracleFeet, NextSteps conducts a variety of training and awareness-raising events, including early detection workshops and advocacy and community awareness sessions.
For more information on MiracleFeet’s global impact, please visit https://www.miraclefeet.org.