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. The goal of the day is to raise awareness about clubfoot and treatment availability.
World Clubfoot Day 2020 was unlike any previous commemoration as it came in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Celebrations in previous years have included organized runs, festivals, and game days. As the ongoing pandemic prevented large gatherings or interactive events, this year’s celebrations were focused primarily on media campaigns and awareness raising activities, and a few small, socially distant events.
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 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.
Republic of the Congo
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 nearly 50,000 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.