Challenging Beliefs About Clubfoot in Tanzania

March 20, 2018

When Eva’s daughter was born with clubfoot, a nurse diagnosed the baby, who was enrolled in treatment only a week later. The child was treated at Mbeya Zonal Referral Hospital in Mbeya, Tanzania, which is one of thirty MiracleFeet-sponsored clinics in the country. Now, three years later, the little girl is walking and running without discomfort or difficulty.

Although Eva did not know when her daughter was born that clubfoot is a treatable condition, she was so happy to learn about the Ponseti Method of treatment. She shares this information with other mothers of children born with clubfoot. During a home visit with Honorio, the physical therapist at Mbeya Zonal Referral Hospital, Eva mentioned several older children she knows who have clubfoot and how sad it is that they could not be treated because they were too old. Honorio, however, knew that this is false and that many older children successfully receive treatment using the Ponseti Method.

Honorio retrieved his tablet and began to show Eva pictures of older children who were successfully treated at the clinic. Eva vowed to share the information that the children could still seek treatment for clubfoot.

Family members can be the strongest advocates for clubfoot treatment and their connections and experience can change attitudes. With their help advocating for treatment, parents can increase knowledge of clubfoot in the communities where they live. We’re so thrilled that Eva will be able to spread the word to other parents and build awareness in her community.

Eva’s daughter may one day be an advocate like her mom. For now, though, she is content to play.