Every year, 35,000-50,000 children in India are born with clubfoot. Children with untreated clubfoot face immense challenges as they grow older. Negative stigmas associated with clubfoot often prevent children from receiving an adequate education. Combined with having limited mobility, those with untreated clubfoot often struggle to find employment. Untreated clubfoot is a root cause of life-long disability, poverty, illiteracy, and abuse in India. It is not uncommon to find people with clubfoot begging on the streets of major cities. Cultural attitudes towards mothers who give birth to children with birth defects add to the burden of clubfoot in India. In some communities, superstition trumps medical knowledge. Some believe that clubfoot is caused when pregnant mothers are exposed to the eclipse. Ultimately, women in India can be rejected and spurned for having a child with clubfoot.
India has historically provided poor access to clubfoot treatment. Most children are currently unable to access care and will grow up disabled. However, a simple treatment can fully correct clubfoot at an average cost of Rs.14,000 per child. Known as the Ponseti Method, this treatment is the gold standard of clubfoot management and fully corrects the foot in over 95% of cases. Treatment changes everything for a child – those who had little future are able to walk, run, and play for the rest of their lives.
MiracleFeet in India
MiracleFeet has had a large presence in India through our partnership with CURE International India Trust (CIIT). MiracleFeet began supporting CIIT in 2011 and has funded clinics in 14 states. MiracleFeet has supported over 77 clinics across India, including in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and the 7 Northeast States (Tripura, Mizoram, Assam, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya).
Since 2011, over 14,000 children have been enrolled in treatment in MiracleFeet-supported clinics, with over 4,000 new children enrolling last year alone. In addition to funding, MiracleFeet provided organizational support, technical guidance, and innovative monitoring and evaluation processes to strengthen clubfoot programs in India. All clinics collect patient information in an online database known as the International Clubfoot Registry, which allows us to monitor progress, track potential dropouts, and analyze data for research purposes. In collaboration with Stanford University, MiracleFeet led the development of a more adaptable, durable, and scalable foot abduction brace that is provided to all patients in Uttarakhand, with the ultimate goal of expanding throughout India.
In 2014, Kunal Premnarayan led the establishment of MiracleFeet India, headquartered in Mumbai. Kunal, the Group CEO of the ICS Group and board member of MiracleFeet, was born with clubfoot himself and successfully underwent treatment in the 1980s. Officially known as the MiracleFeet Foundation for Eliminating Clubfoot, MiracleFeet India is a registered Indian charity and tax-exempt 80G organization.
MiracleFeet India has gained the support of leading Indian corporations and foundations, including the JSW Foundation, Bajaj Foundation, Hero Enterprises, Tata Power, Tata Investment Corporation, Tata International, Videocon D2H, Pacific India, and more. The organization has recruited an all-Indian Board of Directors composed of business and medical leaders passionate about tackling the cause of clubfoot.
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