Finding Hope for Clubfoot in Tanzania

November 02, 2016

At only ten months old, Jawadu was sadly viewed as a shame to his family and community, because he was born with bilateral clubfoot. His father and grandparents would often cover him with large clothes to hide his deformity, but his mother Aisha still had hope for her son.

Jawadu was briefly treated with below the knee casts, but after seeing no results, his mother decided to take him to the Nyakahanga District Hospital after hearing about it on the local radio station. She traveled 150km by motorcycle and bus over the span of 4-5 hours in the hope that her youngest son could be successfully treated. Aisha and her husband are small-scale farmers and the lengthy round-trip cost 34 thousands Tshs (about 15.5 USD).

Despite the cost and the length of travel, Aisha continued to take her son to appointments. Jawadu began treatment in September of 2015 and has attended 21 total appointments. The Ponseti method proved more effective in the treatment of his clubfoot and now, in the bracing stage, Jawadu can stand up on both legs. He has even started to stand up on his own and take a few steps while bracing himself on steady objects.

Instead of bringing shame to the family and community, a shame that he never deserved, Jawadu now brings them joy. His parents and grandparents are proud to carry him and show him to others while expressing their delight in his successful treatment.

Now, Jawadu does not have to grow up believing that he brought shame on his family and community. He can continue to happily grow and play alongside his five brothers and sisters.

“No more tears now,” Aisha said, “For those who had laughed at my son are now ashamed seeing him standing on his foot like a normal child. Thank you so much and may you be blessed to reach out to more children with the same condition.”