New Outreach Program in Liberia Aims to Detect Clubfoot in Early Stages
Since November 2016, MiracleFeet and its partner FACORC have developed a new outreach program to raise awareness about clubfoot and its treatment. The program is designed to train midwives to detect clubfoot among newborns. Over the course of two months, 84 midwives received training in Margibi County and Nimba County, Liberia.
After going through the training program, one of the midwives in Margibi County identified Courage Jallah, a one-week-old child with clubfoot. According to Courage’s grandmother, the midwife told the child’s family that he should be taken to the clubfoot clinic for free treatment immediately. Though many people in the grandmother’s community tried to discourage her from going, she listened to the midwife’s advice and took the child to FACORC.
After six weeks of treatment, Courage’s deformity was corrected and he continues to wear his foot clubfoot brace at night.
The grandmother said “she had no idea that clubfoot could be treated in this way.” This was due to the fact that her late brother had clubfoot and never received treatment until his death.
Yet Courage wasn’t the only patient to benefit greatly from this program. Though the parents of God Gift James had no idea of their son’s deformity when he was born, they later discovered that he had bilateral clubfeet. God Gift’s mother brought her son to the FACROC clinic for treatment when he was six months old, after being reached by clubfoot coordinators during one of their outreach activities on the Buchanan Highway.
In addition to raising their newborn son, both of God Gift’s parents are teenagers. The boy’s mother is 14 and his father is 16; and they are each attending secondary school and living with their parents in the same community.
After the outreach team met her, God Gift’s mother and some of the community members with her at the time doubted that the team could treat her son’s feet. Beyond that, she could not afford to transport herself and the child to Monrovia or to Buchana for treatment.
“I was surprised that FACORC provided transportation and food to enable me complete the treatment of my child,” she lamented.
After one and a half months, God Gift’s mother and the community members with her realized that her son’s feet were corrected and made perfect. She now serves as one of the advocates in her community and school campus for FACORC.
You can support our efforts to train more midwives and increase access to clubfoot treatment with a donation. We appreciate your support!