Health
 Liberia
Project #10956

Help 40 Liberian Children Walk

by miraclefeet
Cynthia from Liberia
Cynthia from Liberia
Little Cynthia, age seven, was transferred by the clubfoot clinic in Grand Gedeh County, Liberia. She was born with congenital deformities of her feet: her left foot was affected by clubfoot, and her
right foot has congenital amputation of the forefoot, with constriction of her calf muscle.
Until she was connected with miraclefeet's partner, FACORC, Cynthia had never been treated. As iscommon with disabled children, she's often the victim of bullying. Her mother, Mamie Doe lamented, “I can be embarrassed and disturbed when Cynthia’s friends in school are mocking and laughing at her.”  Her mother was happy that she was transferred to Monrovia for treatment. 
During treatment, Cynthia and her mother stay with relatives in Monrovia. FACORC is assisting with the costs of weekly transportation, and the hope is that with continued care, her condition will be corrected. 
Josephine, age 6, from Liberia
Josephine, age 6, from Liberia

Meet Josephine in Liberia

Josephine’s bilateral clubfoot was diagnosed before she was born, and her family in Liberia hoped to find treatment for her. She had received previous treatments elsewhere, but unfortunately they did not completely correct her feet.  Josephine was later evaluated at a miraclefeet-supported clinic in coordination with our Liberia partner, FACORC, when she was almost 6 years old. With a series of casts and a tenotomy - a minor surgical technique that is part of the Ponseti method of treatment -  her feet have been gradually corrected.

miraclefeet has helped support treatment for over 11,000 children like Josephine. With your help, we can reach more.

Dukuly in Liberia
Dukuly in Liberia

Dukuly was born in 2012 in Liberia, and at birth his left foot was affected by clubfoot. Referred by his family and doctors to miraclefeet’s partner clinics in Liberia, managed by FACORC, Dukuly was able to enroll in treatment with miraclefeet’s support, and utilizing the gold standard for clubfoot treatment – the Ponseti method – has made progress in achieving healthy feet. Miraclefeet is committed to ensuring that children born with clubfoot in Liberia continue to receive care. In the second half of 2014, over 4,000 Liberians died from the Ebola virus. We are pleased to report that as of March 10, 2015, no new Ebola cases had been reported in Liberia for 10 days.  During the height of the outbreak, our partner, FACORC (Faith Clinical Orthopedic Rehab Center), continued to treat clubfoot patients who are able to attend clinic and were symptom-free. They also answered the call from the Liberian government, by educating patients and their communities on the prevention of the Ebola Virus. In response to the crisis, miraclefeet raised funds to provide supplies and support outreach activities at the hospitals and in the communities that FACORC serves.

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Fayah with his treated feet!
Fayah with his treated feet!

Fayah is a 14-year-old who was treated successfully for clubfoot after being identified by our partner organization in Liberia, FACORC, during outreach in Margibi County. He had severe neglected clubfoot which prevented him from walking normally and playing with his friends. According to Fayah, he has always been laughed at by his peer group; he was labeled as “crippled foot” or “crab foot” as clubfoot is commonly called in Liberia. Fayah was enrolled at FACORC clubfoot clinic in June of 2014 but had stopped coming due to the Ebola outbreak in Liberia. FACORC staff performed a tenetomy in November 2014 (a normal part of Ponseti treatment that lengthens the Achilles tendon). After three more weeks of casting, Fayah’s casts were removed; he now walks normally. Fayah travels 45 miles every week to come to the clinic and miraclefeet/FACORC helps his family with transportation costs so that he can come.

Obadiah Before
Obadiah Before

Everyone reading this is likely following the West Africa Ebola crisis. As you might expect, FACORC, our partner organization in Liberia, has had to dramatically reduced their clubfoot clinic activities in its four miraclefeet-supported clinics in order to minimize any risk of Ebola exposure for patients and workers. They are still committed to community outreach about clubfoot and have added Ebola prevention outreach to their existing clubfoot-related education/outreach efforts.

The Liberian Ministry of Health has called upon all humanitarian organizations - including FACORC - to assist with current efforts to stop the spread of Ebola through community education on the prevention of transmission. FACORC and the Liberia Clubfoot Program, under the direction of Augustine Chiewolo, have responded to this request. In addition to providing outreach, miraclefeet received a list from the Ministry of Health of desperately needed supplies for people on the ground in Liberia and together our supporters have raised almost $4,000 to start sending these supplies. Augustine and miraclefeet are working together to send gear such as gloves, hand sanitizer and protective clothing to Liberia for workers there. 

Obadiah was sucessfully treated through casting before the Ebola outbreak started. He is now in the long-term night time bracing phase of Ponseti treatment. At nine, he is now walking on straight feet for the first time and is finally getting the opportunity to attend school.

Please consider donating to our efforts in Liberia today. FACORC is a trusted partner of the Ministry of Health; they are working hard across the country to stop the spread of Ebola while continuing to share information about clubfoot treatment in all of the places where people gather. Our hearts are with our partners at FACORC and their loved ones in this difficult time.

Obadiah After
Obadiah After

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Organization Information

miraclefeet

Location: Carborro, North Carolina - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.miraclefeet.org
Project Leader:
Heather Barnes
Carrboro, NC United States

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