The clubfoot program in Guinea-Bissau is run by the National Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) under the Health Service Department of the Ministry of Health (MOH). This initiative was previously supported by The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) since 2015 and was part of the Global Clubfoot Initiative (GCI) until December 2021. Similar to most low-resource countries, the ratio of health workers to the population is not proportionate putting a lot of stress on the health system.
Health financing depends principally on external aid, which accounts for more than 70% of the county’s budget. The government’s contribution is limited to a few things such as payment of salaries and other minor expenditures. Community funding is limited to out-of-pocket payment for treatment, which is inadequate to meet needs of the people.
MiracleFeet partners with the Guinea-Bissau Ministry of Health to strengthen and expand this program to ensure that no child in the country lives with disability caused by neglected clubfoot. This program has basic human resources and an existing clubfoot treatment center with few trained personnel providing quality services. MiracleFeet is working to enhance these facilities and provide more training in addition to addressing other gaps. There are opportunities for growth and consolidation of the existing program with the increased demand and awareness creation. The involvement of government and integration of Clubfoot Treatment Program in the National Health System serve as an avenue for expansion to more districts with long-term plans of creating new partnerships with reference institutions and promotion of various research efforts to learn and enhance best practices and collaborations.
From 2015 the ICRC established a protocol MOU with ISAD Association of landmine Victims of Senegal, Casamance region to receive rehabilitation services. In 2015 the first Clubfoot treatment clinic with Ponseti method was established.
In April 2022, Miraclefeet stared a partnership with the National Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) under the Health Service Department of the ministry of health (MOH). This partnership will ensure that children born with clubfoot in Guinea Bissau have access to timely and quality treatment by providing organizational, technical, and financial support to NRC, in line with WHO’s building blocks as follows:
- Increasing treatment coverage for all children born with clubfoot in Guinea Bissau, with a long-term goal to reach 70% of children born with clubfoot in the country (service delivery).
- Meeting global quality metrics for clubfoot treatment (service delivery).
- Providing training, mentoring, and capacity-building services that ensure the health workforce is equipped and capable of providing high-quality treatment (health workforce).
- Providing digital solutions, tools, and services that enable clinics to improve performance (health information systems).
- Ensuring brace provision to all programs and exploring opportunities to increase distribution (access to essential medicines).
- Working towards sustainability in all programs; establishing country-wide clubfoot services, participating in activities to build capacity and skills in finance and government (financing, leadership and governance).