TANZANIA— Management and Development for Health (MDH), in conjunction with government and private hospitals, notably Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC), has launched an ambitious plan to operate on 3,000 children suffering from ankle and clubfoot challenges.

This initiative  is part of MDH’s larger plan of early detection and community awareness of chronic illnesses, which will be implemented across the country during the fiscal year 2023/2024.

The announcement was made by Northern Zone Clubfoot Coordinator, Mr. Goodluck Pallangyo, in an interview with  a local daily, Daily News.

Pallangyo highlighted that these surgical services will be offered free of charge to all eligible children.

This significant healthcare initiative coincides with the commemoration of Clubfoot World Day, observed annually on June 3.

The clinics for diagnosing children with ankle and foot problems began their operations on May 28, underscoring the timely nature of this announcement.

According to Pallangyo, MDH successfully reached 1,676 children from July 2023 to May 31, 2024, providing them with the necessary medical interventions.

He further stated that MDH continues its efforts to reach an additional 1,324 children who have not yet received treatment for their ankle and foot problems.

“The provision of ankle and foot treatment is free of charge in hospitals that provide such treatment in Tanzania Mainland and in the Isles,” Pallangyo elaborated.

He also noted that the cost of treatment for one child amounts to US$500, with this being  generously covered by the Miracle Feet Organization, a non-profit organization based in the United States dedicated to treating children with clubfoot.

The funding from Miracle Feet ensures that the financial burden does not fall on the families of the children in need.

MDH’s role is to provide the treatment and medical equipment, as well as to train health professionals, all supported by funding from Miracle Feet.

To accommodate the necessary demands of citizens and ensure the smooth implementation of this initiative, the government plans to coordinate a forum.

This forum will provide stakeholders an opportunity to discuss strategies and mechanisms to enhance and sustain the program’s effectiveness.

The forum is expected to address various aspects of the program, including resource allocation, training needs, and community outreach strategies.

Clubfoot, a congenital deformity causing one or both feet to turn inward and downward, affects thousands of children in Tanzania.

Without treatment, children with clubfoot face significant mobility challenges, which can lead to long-term physical disability and social stigmatization.

The surgical intervention planned by MDH aims to correct these deformities, thereby improving the quality of life for affected children and enabling them to lead normal, active lives. 

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