Chance Meeting Helps Ianja Find Treatment in Madagascar

December 27, 2018

Nine-month-old Ianja from Madagascar was born with clubfoot, but a chance meeting helped connect his family to treatment.

After giving birth at home in rural Madagascar with the assistance of a midwife, Ianja’s mom took the child to be vaccinated at the health center in town. While there, she decided to see if she could find out more information about the condition of her newborn son’s feet since she didn’t know what it was called.

Staff at the health center knew the condition was clubfoot but were uncertain where to direct Ianja’s family for treatment. Fortunately, Ianja’s mother happened to meet the mother of another child born with clubfoot who had been successfully treated at the MiracleFeet-supported clinic in Antananarivo.Ianja after treatment, standing on corrected feet

Grateful to have more information about how to help her son, Ianja’s mother took the child to the clinic, a three-hour journey from their home. After his first cast, Ianja cried for two days. Soon, however, he became accustomed to the plaster casts he received at his weekly clinic appointments and even made it through his tenotomy without crying!

Because of the thorough information the clinic provided about the treatment process, Ianja’s mother was prepared for the challenges of each different phase. Today, Ianja is in the bracing phase and the family regularly returns to the clinic for check-ups. His mother sees a lot of improvement in his feet, which has helped to relieve her fear that Ianja would not have the typical childhood other children in their village have.

Now it seems Ianja will barely remember his time of treatment. His mother describes how the little boy dances along to the music that plays on the radio with a big smile on his face, and with feet free from the pain of untreated clubfoot.

Read more stories from Madagascar.