New Clubfoot Virtual Course Set to Launch in Partnership with PAHO

June 03, 2022

MiracleFeet is excited to announce, on the occasion of World Clubfoot Day 2022, the development of a new open access virtual course for primary and frontline healthcare providers on proper diagnosis and treatment of clubfoot. The course, developed in partnership with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), will be one of PAHO’s self-learning courses and part of their virtual campus for public health.

Scheduled to go live by August, the course, available in both English and Spanish, represents a tremendous opportunity to raise awareness and promote the integration of early detection and referral for clubfoot—the most common congenital cause of physical disability worldwide.   

“When we recognize and address clubfoot, we can change an entire life in a matter of weeks.”

“When we recognize and address clubfoot, we can change an entire life in a matter of weeks,” says Dr. Betzabé Butrón Riveros, Regional Advisor on Child Health at PAHO. “It is a treatable malformation. We cannot leave these children behind.”

Through its work on congenital anomalies, PAHO and WHO aim to reduce long-term disability and the significant impact on individuals, families, health-care systems, and society. By systematically addressing clubfoot, health care workers and governments can take a major step to ensure the long-term well-being of the estimated 200,000 children born with clubfoot each year.

Congenital anomalies, overall, are a leading cause of disability among children and adolescents. They affect more than 6% of the global population, or 8 million babies per year. The vast majority of these conditions can be improved, treated, or managed with access to appropriate health care. But to date, global health efforts have primarily focused on prevention of major birth defects—through folic acid fortification, prenatal counseling, research, surveillance, and other risk reduction and behavioral health interventions.

“Early detection and referral of children with conditions like clubfoot is crucial to help them access the rehabilitation they need when it can help the most.”

“Early detection and referral of children with conditions like clubfoot is crucial to help them access the rehabilitation they need when it can help the most,” says Antony Duttine, Regional Advisor, Disability and Rehabilitation at PAHO. “Early childhood development is critically linked to lifetime outcomes. Access to services improves a child’s ability to learn and play from infancy, and generates greater gains throughout their lives, compared to deferred intervention.”

With 1.7 million users, PAHO’s Virtual Public Health Campus is a rich network of people, institutions and organizations who have been sharing public health courses, resources, and information since its establishment in 2008. The courses are self-learning; people can take them at their own pace, without defined times, and autonomously. Participants who review all the educational material, pass the evaluations, and answer the Virtual Campus quality survey can download the certificate of participation and approval issued by PAHO.

Through this course, MiracleFeet and PAHO are working together to mutually support regional and country level actions to prevent life-long disability caused by clubfoot, and its associated consequences in education, participation, and employment. This partnership with PAHO—a globally recognized and specialized international health agency—signals deserved recognition in awareness raising for clubfoot and the need for expanded access to its low-cost treatment.