Africa Clubfoot Training Program Empowers Ponseti Providers

The Africa Clubfoot Training (ACT) project began in 2015 as a way to provide streamlined, standardized training in the Ponseti method of clubfoot treatment. Nearly 30,000 children are born with clubfoot each year in Africa, and many of them lack access to proper treatment. ACT aims to improve the capacity of providers to treat clubfoot and also to train other providers in the Ponseti method.

Man in plaid shirt sits resting arm on table and smiles at cameraThis project was created and funded through a collaboration between University of Oxford, CURE Clubfoot, CURE Ethiopia Children’s Hospital, and the Global Clubfoot Initiative (GCI). MiracleFeet is proud to be an active GCI member and a major funder of this training event.

MiracleFeet was fortunate to observe a very important part of ACT training earlier this month in Tanzania: Train the Trainers (TTT). In addition, partners from MiracleFeet sponsored clinics in Tanzania, Liberia, and Zimbabwe participated in the training. ACT’s unique approach to empowering clubfoot treatment providers throughout Africa relies on a network of trained Ponseti providers. Those who are Advanced Practitioners teach Basic Practitioners so they can advance to the next level of training. Those newly minted Advanced Practitioners, in turn, lead a basic Ponseti training for a class of brand new providers who then enter this cycle.

MiracleFeet Executive Director Chesca Colloredo-Mansfeld was among the staff from MiracleFeet who observed the five-day training. “It was Woman in vibrant red dress addresses room of trainees. She is holding a microphone and standing next to a flip chartamazing to watch those who know Ponseti but had never been trained to teach turn around and conduct a Basic Training to a new cadre of Tanzanian physical therapists,” she said of her experience.

This continuous cycle of training and the involvement of local practitioners helps ensure the sustainability of clubfoot treatment programs in Africa. The model has been so successful, it has begun to be adapted and translated. There is already a French version targeted to Francophone Africa, and Spanish and Portuguese translations are also being developed.

Click here to read the full report on this important event.

Click here to read what our partners at the Tanzania Clubfoot Care Organization (TCCO) had to say about the training.

Photo credit to Dr. Rachel Nungu from TCCO.