miraclefeet offers a variety of ways to donate and help treat clubfoot one step at a time.
Population: 6 million
Poverty Levels: 4 million living on $2 a day or less
Estimated number of untreated clubfoot cases: 1,000
miraclefeet plans to do further training in order to establish a fourth clinic on the Atlantic Coast in 2013.
miraclefeet began work in Managua, Nicaragua in May 2011. Nicaragua is among the poorest countries in Latin America, with overcrowded hospitals that often lack basic supplies and equipment. While the total number of clubfoot cases is small, the opportunity to have a positive impact is large since many remain untreated. As spending on health care is declining and resources are extremely limited, a little miraclefeet support goes a long way in Nicaragua.
miraclefeet’s first partner in Nicaragua was the Hospital Materno-Infantil Fernando Velez Paiz, the main referral hospital for children’s orthopedics. The clubfoot clinic at Velez Paiz, on Tuesday mornings, is run by Dr. Sequeira, a Ponseti International Association member and trainer, and Dr. Flores. Children travel to Managua from every region of Nicaragua for treatment at Velez Paiz.
In March 2012, miraclefeet and the Ponseti International Association, in collaboration with Cooperación Ortopédica Americana Nicaragüense (COAN), hosted a two-day training workshop. The training workshop, held at Hospital Escuela Oscar Danila Rosales Arguello (HEODRA), was attended by 18 doctors from six different public or social security hospitals. In addition to increasing the practice of the Ponseti Method all over the country, miraclefeet established a partnership with HEODRA, located in Leon and serving children in the northern part of the country.
miraclefeet provides funding for basic equipment such as a water heater and buckets for soaking off casts, casting supplies when these run out, and braces to increase compliance and alleviate families' financial burden. miraclefeet support has also provided clubfoot education for families and regular patient follow-up. Partner hospitals Velez Paiz and HEODRA have taken measure to ensure that patient tenotomies are conducted under local anesthesia and patients no longer have to wait for months for tenotomies.
Hospital Velez Paiz and HEODRA have a combined total of more than 200 patients in treatment in both the casting and bracing stage. Ten percent of the more than 200 patients in treatment in Nicaragua are over the age of five, showing the effectiveness of the Ponseti Method in older children and changing their lives forever.
Expansion in Nicaragua
Working with Dr. Sequeira, Medical Director in Nicaragua, miraclefeet continues to expand its in-country capacity so that families do not have to travel so far for treatment. Although Nicaragua is relatively small, roads are limited and travel within Nicaragua can be difficult.
miraclefeet and Hospital Doctor Ernesto Sequeira Blanco in Bluefields are currently formalizing a partnership for a Ponseti program. Bluefields is located in the Autonomous Region of the Southern Atlantic in Nicaragua. A robust Ponseti program in Bluefields would enable children in the Autonomous Region of the Southern Atlantic to receive treatment closer to their homes.
In addition to supporting clinics, miraclefeet is working to establish low-cost brace options and also seeking funding to renovate the clinic room at HEODRA and the small patient hostel at Velez Paiz for patients that have traveled long distances to get treatment.