Sierra Leone is a rapidly growing country with an estimated population of nearly 8 million. Disability services in the country have historically not had significant government attention or resources making it difficult for the estimated 273 children born with clubfoot every year to access quality treatment. Misconceptions about the disability, lack of training facilities, and a lack of awareness of treatment availability have also contributed to many untreated cases. MiracleFeet’s goal is to help create a sustainable and quality clubfoot treatment program in Sierra Leone to enhance the social, economic, and community inclusion of children with clubfoot in the country.
The Limb Fitting Center was established in 1961 and was later transformed into National Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) and Handicap International (HI). The vision of the NRC is to improve accessibility, equitability, and quality of rehabilitation services in Sierra Leone. The Centre is integrated into the MoHS and is working with MiracleFeet to support the Sierra Leone National Clubfoot Program by training clinicians to provide clubfoot treatment and assisting with community awareness raising.
Assuming there is a return to normal clinic operations within the year, the NRC will focus on returning to pre-COVID-19 levels of new enrollments and treating children born with clubfoot during the pandemic. Parents will receive updates and information through mobile phones and SMS messages. Clinics have adapted additional treatment protocols to ensure the safety of all patients and providers. The program will also conduct refresher training for both clinicians and counselors to strengthen their capacity. Additionally, radio and TV messages will take the place of in-person advocacy and awareness-raising events. The media announcements will include information about clubfoot, treatment availability, as well as safety information on preventing the spread of the virus.