COVID-19 Update

Our Work Continues in the Face of Enormous Global Upheaval

It has been nearly nine months since many MiracleFeet-supported clinics temporarily closed due to the pandemic. The closures interrupted clubfoot treatment for over 11,000 children who are waiting to start or resume care in 29 countries.

Fortunately, we are starting to see encouraging signs as clinics cautiously re-open in several locations and patient visits steadily increase. While uncertainty still looms, we are optimistic that operations will return to full capacity over the next 12 months.

Although clinic activity across all programs remains well below normal volume, it is rising.

In countries observing a reduction in COVID-19 cases, Paraguay and Cambodia for example, clinics have begun to carefully resume operations with adjustments to treatment protocols to ensure patient and healthcare provider safety. As transportation and other systems reopened the number of patients visiting clinics has steadily increased.

During this time—a potentially isolating and emotional experience for families awaiting treatment—MiracleFeet is working closely with partners to ensure patients’ families are connected to care coordinators and receiving essential information about their children’s condition and the status of treatment options near them. We have set up hotlines for medical questions, instituted telehealth consultations, provided COVID-19 prevention materials, and distributed supplemental online training resources to providers.  

Our priority remains the health and safety of our patients and providers.

We are providing PPE and enforcing social distancing at health facilities to ensure providers can safely offer patients care. We are working with partners to devise reopening procedures, including prioritizing care based on stage of treatment and patient’s age, and planning for higher volumes as we work through the significant backlog of children born with clubfoot in the last four months. In parallel, we are also creating contingency plans in anticipation of longer delays or virus resurgences in some countries. MiracleFeet-supported clinics are subject to local government and hospital-level safety procedures in response to coronavirus, and their decisions to reopen must comply with those policies as well.

MiracleFeet is also accelerating our digital training and SMS tools, as well as use of tele-health for brace checks to reduce travel. While COVID has been a catalyst for increased use of technology, these innovations will enhance the efficiency of our programs well beyond the pandemic – just as our sophisticated data collection and M&E system, CAST, has proven to be critical as we manage the rapid changes brought on by this health crisis.

We know that COVID-19 will impact our work, and health service delivery everywhere for a while. But we will not lose focus in our charge to end a disability that has been neglected worldwide for so long, until now. MiracleFeet’s strength and momentum lies in our extensive network of local partners—over 500 working at 301 rehabilitation and orthopedic clinics in 29 countries—who we empower and collaborate with to treat children born with clubfoot.

COVID-19 has highlighted stark inequities in health systems, especially for children with disabilities.

Already at risk of being excluded from humanitarian, medical, and educational services, now their guardians face even greater barriers: lost wages, weakened support systems, no public transportation in many places. Access to free treatment for this leading physical disability is more critical than ever for their livelihoods and futures.

To our supporters and partners, your generosity and loyalty sustains our work. Your belief in solving this problem makes it possible to reach some of the world’s most vulnerable children with the care they need to thrive.

 Thank you.

Chesca Colloredo-Mansfeld
Co-Founder & Executive Director

Over 9,000 children are waiting.

COVID-19 has interrupted treatment for over 9,000 children in the countries where MiracleFeet works. As clinics reopen, your support will help more families receive the care their children urgently need during the critical treatment window.

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