MiracleFeet began working in Guinea by way of Liberia, where our program extended treatment to facilities serving populations around the countries’ shared border.
During the civil war in the 1990s, many Liberians fled across the border to the Guinean town of Diecke, among them staff from the Liberian hospital in Phebe. These doctors and nurses set up an emergency clinic to treat refugees, and eventually the clinic became a permanent fixture treating a variety of conditions, including clubfoot. However, the limited number of trained providers could not keep up with the need for quality clubfoot treatment. Other challenges included a very low adult literacy rate making parent education difficult, low adherence to treatment protocol, insufficient community awareness, weak early detection and referral pathways, and poor healthcare infrastructure.
In response to these challenges and as the need for quality treatment increased, MiracleFeet planned additional trainings at other facilities. In 2017, in partnership with Liberia Clubfoot Program, MiracleFeet began training staff at the Centre Medical Methodiste Unis de Diécké hospital to treat clubfoot using the Ponseti Method. In 2018-2019 Mercy Ships trained providers at two hospitals, CHU Donka and CME de N’Zao, which then joined the National Clubfoot program supported by MiracleFeet.
In February of 2020 MiracleFeet formalized a partner agreement with Réseau Confessionel Sanitaire Chrétien-Guinée (RECOSAC-G), a non-profit that works to ensure Guineans are economically and socially productive and have access to quality health services. The overarching goal of the partnership is to ensure that all children born with clubfoot in Guinea are treated successfully using the Ponseti Method. MiracleFeet will help address weaknesses within the Guinean healthcare system as they relate to clubfoot treatment by:
- Building capacity of providers to treat clubfoot using the Ponseti method
- Supporting the healthcare infrastructures to treat children born with clubfoot in a healthy environment
- Supporting low-income families by addressing treatment costs and parent education
- Raising public awareness of clubfoot through community-based campaigns.
Within the next three years, MiracleFeet, in partnership with RECOSAC-G, plans to treat 500+ new clubfoot patients, open seven new treatment centers, host ten provider trainings at various levels including training 35 new providers, and implement several awareness raising campaigns. MiracleFeet also plans to collaborate with the Ministry of Health to integrate clubfoot treatment and services into their strategic plan.