MiracleFeet-Supported Treatment in Myanmar Affected by Political Unrest
MiracleFeet leadership and program staff are deeply concerned for our partners and medical network in Myanmar, following the deadliest day of anti-coup violence since protests began last month. Since 2013, MiracleFeet’s local partner in Myanmar has supported clubfoot treatment for over 1,200 children through a network of seven clinics and orthopedic specialists now trained in the Ponseti Method.
All clinics in Myanmar are currently closed and have been since February 1, and all planned program activities are on hold due to the political crisis. The safety of our partner’s team and frontline medical staff who provide treatment is paramount. All program and clinic personnel associated with our work in Myanmar are safe at this time.
For clubfoot patients and their parents, the lapse in care can be devastating and isolating. Families whose children were receiving weekly castings, or expecting follow-up for a child’s brace, or experiencing complications like a relapse need to understand what steps to take to optimize outcomes. Answering guardians’ questions, keeping them connected to clinic staff, and informed of what to do while they wait for facilities to reopen is vital.
“It is the right of all children, including those who suffer from disabilities, to access health care and services they need. We feel the acute urgency of families who were in the middle of this time sensitive process, and those who will need clinical assistance while clinics are closed,” says President of MiracleFeet Daphne Sorensen.
MiracleFeet will support our partner’s outreach to families and track new cases in infants who need immediate links to treatment once it is safe to resume services. Globally, during the COVID-19 pandemic, MiracleFeet’s efforts to recover children whose care was interrupted have been very successful—with weekly patient volumes at 97% of pre-COVID levels. Although the situation is Myanmar is different and unpredictable, we will work to apply these tools and lessons with our partner to assist their communication with families.