World Clubfoot Day
World Clubfoot Day is celebrated annually on June 3rd to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Ignacio Ponseti, the developer of the Ponseti Method. This non-surgical, inexpensive, and incredibly effective clubfoot treatment ultimately made it possible for MiracleFeet to treat a leading birth defect inexpensively and effectively on a global scale.
World Clubfoot Day 2021 finds the world again gripped by a global pandemic which make large gatherings and raucous celebrations impossible. But the day will still be marked by small assemblies, awareness-raising and advocacy events around the world. And, most of all, by hundreds of thousands of families celebrating the medical breakthrough that gave their children active, health lives.
Our partners in Latin America are planning activities and presentations, organizing branded t-shirts for partner and clinic staff, ordering pillows for the youngest patients, and decorating the clinics.
Our partner in Somalia is organizing a breakfast for ten children (and their families) who recently finished treatment or who are just beginning. The event will be an opportunity for families to meet and learn from each other, and to share about their clubfoot journeys.
The Uganda team is hosting an event in Fort Portal featuring a speech by the director of the hospital and activities demonstrating the stages of treatment and how it works.
The Liberia Clubfoot Program has introduced Ponseti as a case study for midwives and nursing students at the Faith College of Professional Studies in Monrovia. This initiative will be shared with country officials during the World Clubfoot Day celebration in hopes of expanding the experience to the national level.
With a possible third wave of COVID looming, small events were organized in each zone in Tanzania which include guest speeches and treatment demonstrations. Branded t-shirts will be distributed and the local press have been invited to cover the events.
In South Sudan, a mother’s meeting will assemble several mothers whose children were born with clubfoot and who are now in different stages of treatment or fully treated. The testimonies will be recorded and used for awareness raising throughout the year.
A look back at World Clubfoot Day celebrations in 2020
Clubfoot care advocates in Madagascar took to the airways on June 3, 2020 promoting clubfoot awareness and treatment. Two national ACT trainers, Dr. Fanekena and Dr. Irène, along with a representative from the Madagascar Ministry of Health, discussed clubfoot care at a radio station studio in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. In addition, regular radio ads ran throughout the day on several stations and the Minister of Health delivered a speech on national television that included information about clubfoot care.
MiracleFeet’s partner in Tanzania, the Tanzania Clubfoot Care Organization (TCCO), commemorated the day with a low-key celebration distributing t-shirts to clinic staff with the timely slogan, “Stronger Together in fighting against Clubfoot Disability and Covid-19 pandemic.” Additionally, television and newspapers featured awareness-raising and advocacy messages, including a feature on STAR TV.
The clubfoot clinic at the National Pediatric Hospital in Phnom Penh, Cambodia celebrated World Clubfoot Day at with a small gathering including three families whose children recently completed treatment.
The clinic at the Battambang Provincial Hospital also hosted a small celebration, inviting five families to gather for pizza to celebrate and share their experience caring for children with clubfoot. It was a socially distant celebration, as well, but the families enjoyed swapping stories and sharing information, and the children enjoyed the pizza and soda.
MiracleFeet’s partner in Guatemala, ADISA, commemorated the day by distributing food and care packages to clubfoot families who indicated a need by displaying a white flag on their fence. In addition to food and cooking supplies, the packages included disinfectant and face masks as well as guidance on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and information about accessing psychological support.
The celebration in Nigeria, modified from original plans due to the pandemic, focused on increasing clubfoot awareness and knowledge of early detection and referral pathways. States held interactive radio sessions conducted by the different teams — Federal Medical Centre Umuahia Abia State, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital Uyo Akwa Ibom State and Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi, and Anambra State. Despite the modified plan, the day was still a success as messages sent through the different platforms (television documentaries, radio programs, publicized interviews with providers) were well-received by a large audience. The messaging will help inform and the general public as well as parents seeking information and care for their children.
MiracleFeet’s partner in the Republic of the Congo, Association pour le Développement de la Réadaptation et du Bien Etre (ADRBE) postponed their celebration to June 18th as that’s when activity and movement restrictions were lifted. The celebration included a press conference commemorating three years of using the Ponseti Method in Congo with the support of Miraclefeet. Additionally, the clinic in Pointe-Noire distributed gift baskets to five families who just completed treatment.
Each year, many clubfoot families and honor World Clubfoot Day by raising awareness and support through the power of social media. Every $500 raised provides complete clubfoot treatment for one child.
To get started, pick a platform to host your fundraiser:
People power our movement, raising 75 percent of the funds needed to reach the more than 55,000 lives MiracleFeet has changed so far. Hosting a fundraiser is a great way to support our global work to ensure no child grows up with this treatable disability.