Here is a family photo of little Jatu with her mother, Kema, her twin sister, and her brother Amos. Jatu and her twin are 1 year and 7 months. Her twin sister does not have clubfoot. They are the youngest of 5 children.
Jatu’s mother Kema is blind. Understanding the difficulties of persons with disabilities in Liberia, Kema worried that her daughter’s clubfoot would prevent her going to school, getting married, and having a full life. She learned that clubfoot treatment was available, she knew she must bring her, Jatu. Kema does not go anywhere without her eight-year-old son Amos. Kema carries the twins, while Amos guides his mother by holding her skirt.
Kema, the twins, and Amos walked 3 hours on the main road to reach C.B. Dunbar clinic in Gbarnga, Bong County. Here, the FACORC clubfoot team along with nurses and a doctor from C.B. Dunbar casted the clubfoot children, including little Jatu. “People said that my daughter will not walk because her twin sister sat on top of her in my womb,”Kema told the Ponseti practitioners. “I am happy for this program.”
We have reached 85 children in Liberia. To continue treating children like Jatu, please consider donating this holiday season.
miraclefeet’s Lauren Wall & Chesca Colloredo are pictured here with clubfoot patient, Nathalyn, (pictured in pink) with her grateful mother and grandmother
By Chesca Colloredo – Managing Director, miraclefeet
Continued from our visit on Monday to HU-USP in Brazil, Dr. Ferriera wants to work on reducing the time it takes for children born with clubfoot to get referred to her clinic. It is currently a multi-step, bureaucratic process. We had hoped to meet with the director of the hospital to get her support and input around this initiative, but she was called away at the last minute for Ministry of Health meetings. We hope to catch her on Friday when we are back in Sao Paulo.
To that end, miraclefeet’s program in Sao Paulo is small, but a great model for how to implement an effective clinic. We talked about the need to identify and support additional clinics in the four other regions of the city since Dr. Ferreira’s clinic can really only serve the western part of Sao Paulo. She suggested contacting Dr. Alejandro Lorenco. A quick phone call found him to be enthusiastic and interested in meeting with us on Friday when we are back in the city. Events like this show the value of local partnerships and in basing our program around committed local champions who can help us navigate the best path to long term sustainability.
Stay tuned for more updates!