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World Clubfoot Day: NPO joins doctors at Tygerberg Hospital to spread awareness

FOR World Clubfoot Day, Steps Charity joined doctors, nursing staff, parents and babies at the Tygerberg Hospital clubfoot clinic to spread awareness and celebrate their shared success. Picture: Supplied

FOR World Clubfoot Day, Steps Charity joined doctors, nursing staff, parents and babies at the Tygerberg Hospital clubfoot clinic to spread awareness and celebrate their shared success. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 4, 2021

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Cape Town – With more than 11 000 children born with clubfoot every year and 2 000 of them being born in South Africa, non-profit organisation Steps Charity seeks to raise more awareness of the congenital deformity of the foot.

For World Clubfoot Day yesterday on June 3, Steps Charity joined doctors, nursing staff, parents and babies at the Tygerberg Hospital clubfoot clinic to spread awareness and celebrate their shared success.

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Steps Charity founder Karen Moss started the NPO in 2005 to support babies born with clubfoot across the country after introducing the non-invasive Ponseti Method to South Africa.

This came following the successful clubfoot treatment of her own son in 2003 by Dr Ignaçio Ponseti, the pioneer of the Ponseti Method, in the US.

Moss said the NPO’s partnership with the hospital began many years ago with Professor Jacques du Toit.

Du Toit started the clubfoot clinic at Tygerberg Hospital after attending one of the first Ponseti training sessions in 2006.

“We partnered with the big clinics like Tygerberg in our early days but we knew a lot of children in rural areas weren’t able to travel to those clinics or even knew that clubfoot could be treated so we focused on getting into rural areas over the past two years,” said Moss.

WORLD Clubfoot Day celebration at Tygerberg clinic with the doctors, nursing staff, Steps and parents with their babies. Picture: Supplied

Anilafe Mkhota, 2, from Kraaifontein was born with unilateral clubfoot, and thanks to Steps Clubfoot Care, she received a size 4, Ponseti Mitchell clubfoot brace which was donated by sponsors.

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Mkhota’s mother, Maness said: “I am very happy with my daughter's foot; no one would ever know that she had clubfoot when she was born.

“Anilafe now wears the boots every night and no longer must wear them during the day. For the first three months, I would put them on her for 23 hours a day. The boots are very comfortable and easy to use.

“My daughter reminds me every night to put her shoes on. She will wear them until she is 4 years old just to make sure her foot does not turn back in,” Maness said.

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Born with bilateral clubfoot, 3-year-old Bulumko Magwegwe from Delft is another clubfoot survivor. His mother, Mobaxousi, said she never expected that her son would have clubfoot when he was born.

“I had never heard about it; no one in my family had ever had clubfoot. I was shocked. The nurse that helped me deliver my son told me I must take my boy to the Tygerberg Hospital clubfoot clinic. She said they would be able to help.

“Everyone at the clinic told me that if I took my son to his clubfoot appointments and followed the process, everything would be okay. They gave me hope. Steps made me feel that I was supported. I was given all the information about clubfoot and my son's treatment process,” Mobaxousi said.

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“My advice to parents with a baby born with clubfoot is they must not give up; they must keep coming to the clinic and they will see the difference every week. My son likes running and playing with his friends. No one believes me when I tell people what Bulumko’s feet were like when he was born. I am very thankful to everyone that helped.”

Moss added: “There are so many birth defects that can’t be treated and this actually can be, which is why World Clubfoot Day is a good way for us to spread awareness of this treatment and support to all areas.”

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