Matinde, the son of farmers in the Kahama district of northern Tanzania, was born with bilateral clubfoot.
He is the third person in his family to be born with the condition.
Father and Sister Struggle to Find Treatment
Matinde’s father and eldest sister were also born with bilateral clubfoot. Matinde’s father did not receive treatment and has spent his entire life learning to navigate the world with the painful disability caused by neglected clubfoot. Ever-determined, he knew he wanted his daughter and son to find treatment and would do whatever was necessary to help them.
Shortly after Matinde’s sister was born with clubfoot, nurses who recognized the condition referred the family to treatment. The hospital charged the family a fee for each visit, which placed a serious financial burden on them as they struggled to make ends meet.
Finding Free Clubfoot Treatment for Matinde
After Matinde’s birth, the family learned that there was a MiracleFeet-supported clinic 60km from their home where children with clubfoot could be treated at no cost. The clinic is run by MiracleFeet’s partner Tanzania Clubfoot Care Organization and is just one of 34 clubfoot treatment clinics throughout this East African nation where early 3,000 children are born with clubfoot each year.
Overjoyed, Matinde’s parents enrolled the child in treatment when he was one month old. At the clinic, they were given information about the treatment process. Their daughter had not been treated with the Ponseti method and so they were apprehensive at first but asked the doctor many questions so that they could learn more.
Matinde’s father expressed his gratitude for the free treatment, explaining that because his work opportunities are limited by his own clubfoot, it would not be possible for the family to afford treatment otherwise.
Matinde is in the middle of the casting phase of treatment. We can’t wait to see the results as he moves on to the bracing phase and is later able to walk and run.
Read more stories from Tanzania, where MiracleFeet has helped support treatment for 4,100 children.