Helping Programs Excel: Support and Supervision in Uganda
In 2011, MiracleFeet began supporting clubfoot treatment for children in Brazil. In just seven years, our programs have expanded to 25 countries and nearly 33,000 children have been enrolled in treatment. With this increased number of clinics and patients comes the need to provide support for those working in the field: clinic counselors, physiotherapists, administrators, and other staff dedicated to providing the highest quality treatment to children with clubfoot.
In Uganda, where MiracleFeet supports 8 clinics throughout the country, supervisor Diriisa gave us a look at what a typical support and supervision visit looks like.
This past summer, Diriisa made the seven-hour journey from his office in Kampala to one of the 8 clinics he regularly visits, Kabale Hospital. The staff there operate a clubfoot clinic each Tuesday. At Kabale, Diriisa met with Amos, the coordinator of Kabale Hospital’s clubfoot clinic, and together they visited patients, observed the casting process, and discussed what a typical day at the clinic looks like.
Diriisa and other supervisors who work in the field want to learn about the workflow for each clinic. For example:
- How long do parents typically spend in the waiting area?
- What is the process for medical record keeping?
- Are casts applied with strict adherence to the Ponseti method?
- Do parents receive thorough instructions about how to care for their child during the course of treatment?
- What outreach and education activities are done to increase clubfoot awareness in the community?
In addition to learning about the daily operations of the clinic, support and supervision visits are an opportunity to discover what makes each clinic unique. “The Kabale clinic has its traditional practices,” says Diriisa. “Every mother carries a lesu; this is a two meters-long piece of cloth for the mother to wrap around [the baby] during the clinic.” In addition, the clinic at Kabale Hospital keeps before and after photos on file for each patient, and also has copies available for the families.
At the end of the day, the clinic saw sixteen patients; nine of those received casts and the others were seen for bracing follow-up visits. Parents were happy with the results of the treatment and regular radio programming about clubfoot treatment had proven useful in spreading the word that clubfoot was treatable. Diriisa returned to Kampala with a better understanding of the Kabale team’s strengths and areas where they might need more support to excel.
From MiracleFeet’s headquarters in Chapel Hill, to Program Managers and Clinic Coordinators in the field, to parent advocates hanging awareness posters in their communities, ending clubfoot disability is truly a worldwide effort.
Learn more about MiracleFeet’s vision for ending the disability caused by untreated clubfoot.
Learn more about MiracleFeet’s partner in Uganda, CoRSU Hospital.