Community outreach is so important, and our partner clinic staff members and volunteers in Liberia are absolute pros at it. We recently received a grant to buy them a new vehicle to improve their ability to provide outreach in remote areas of Liberia.
This couple below recently found out about FACORC and were truly happy to have found a place where their one-week-old child can be treated. The mother said she had been ashamed to bring her child outdoors because of the deformity. Here they are before and after his first casts.
This older boy is being treated for clubfoot and is benefiting from miraclefeet-supported academic scholarship. Thanks for supporting this important work in Liberia!
Last week the outreach team at our partner clinic in Liberia, FACORC, had their staff (“FOOT SOLDIERS,” as we call them) visit high schools in and around Monrovia to do advocacy about clubfoot. These dedicated staff members from the Liberia Clubfoot Program are trained in disseminating health messages to people in public places. They are called FOOT SOLDIERS specifically because they walk many hours and miles on their feet to ensure that clubfoot is minimized or eradicated across Liberia. Reaching high school children ensures that more people will know that clubfoot CAN in fact be treated.
The outreach team also made their way to the village of Totota in Bong County, about four hours from Monrovia, where they talked to parents about clubfoot.
One child with untreated bilateral clubfoot was found in the village (see below). The child also has spinal bifida and, when the baby was born, many people told the mom that the baby had been cursed with black magic and should be abandoned. She did not agree. Below, the FACORC team is counseling mom on how Ponseti treatment can improve the child’s well-being.
FACORC, our partner organization in Liberia, is working hard to spread awareness about clubfoot to the general public there. These are some photos from the outing of the FACORC team talking to people about clubfoot in a marketplace in Monrovia. FACORC now has over 230 children with clubfoot enrolled in treatment and is holding more regular clinics to meet the public's demand for services. We are excited to report that FACORC is also working with the Liberian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to launch a national clubfoot program in Janury 2014.
miraclefeet has partnered with the Faith Clinical Orthopedic Rehabilitation Center (FACORC), a not-for-profit organization, since June 2012. FACORC was established in March 2011 in Monrovia, Liberia to provide treatment to clubfoot patients using the Ponseti Method. FACORC is the only institution in Liberia treating children for free with the Ponseti Method.
miraclefeet’s partnership with Faith Clinical Orthopedic Rehabilitation Center (FACORC) in Liberia began in August 2013 after Dr. Augustine Chiewolo received training from Ponseti International Association (PIA) in Iowa. miraclefeet funds most of the operating costs of the FACORC clubfoot program, although the FACORC team generously volunteer their time. 180 children have been enrolled in treatment since miraclefeet started providing financial support to FACORC. Two trainings by PIA-endorsed providers were held for health care workers and lay advocates and discussions have been held with at least 5 hospitals and clinics to create additional satellite clinics around the country. FACORC provides extensive community outreach program via radio publicity, newspaper articles and the training of community outreach workers. FACORC recently engaged in discussions with government officials from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and received positive responses for developing a national program. The plan is to open three more rural clinics over the next year. We estimate that over 1,000 children total are living with untreated clubfoot in Liberia. We want to make that number a ZERO!
Our miraclefeet partners in Liberia at FACORC would like to extend their gratitude to AIFO for affording them the opportunity to increase awareness about clubfoot by training 13 new community-based rehab outreach field workers about clubfoot in Liberia. AIFO is a non-profit organization whose staff members work with disabled children in remote areas of Liberia to improve their quality of life. Because of this training, these field workers will now be able to identify kids with clubfoot, referring them for proper treatment and providing follow-up support to children with clubfoot and their family members.The field workers reported that, prior to the training, they had limited knowledge of clubfoot, including its cause, its treatment and the impact it can have if left untreated. FACORC educated the field workers on clubfoot, its treatment and how the field workers can contribute to successful outcomes for children with clubfoot. Together, the thirteen participants represented nearly each of the fifteen total counties in Liberia. This training will allow lay health workers to participate more actively in identifying and treating clubfoot all over Liberia, spreading the word about how to identify and treat this common disability.
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