There are approximately 15,000 children and adults disabled from untreated clubfoot in Madagascar, with an estimated 1,000 children born with the condition each year. Prior to MiracleFeet’s involvement the cost of treatment materials was a major barrier to long-term sustainability as it made treatment inaccessible to many families. In 2015, Mercy Ships introduced the Ponseti Method of clubfoot treatment at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Toamasina (CHUT). In 2016, MiracleFeet began supporting the clubfoot clinic Mercy Ships helped establish and is pursuing a national program in collaboration with local partner, Axian, formerly Fondation TELMA, along with the Ministry of Health.
The involvement of the Ministry of Health helps ensure the sustainability and local ownership of the program. MiracleFeet is the first organization to scale treatment in the country and has increased the number of treatment facilities from one in 2016 to seven across the region. Accordingly, the number of patients has more than tripled in the last four years. The government designates space for clubfoot treatment at all the public clinics and all providers at these clinics are government employees.
Outreach strategies are developed and implemented with local teams of community health workers and providers to educate parents about clubfoot and treatment availability. Outreach is done through community-based campaigns as well as radio and television announcements. Children in Madagascar start treatment early thanks to an effective early detection and referral pathway between communities, maternity wards, and clinics.