Expanding Care for Clubfoot in Morocco

The Barzilai Foundation is launching a new program with MiracleFeet to increase the abilities of clinics in Morocco to diagnose and treat clubfoot, a common birth defect. Founded in 2010 by a social entrepreneur and parents of children born with clubfoot, MiracleFeet has grown to change the lives of over 90,000 children in 36 countries. This new program establishes clubfoot treatment centers, upskills relevant specialists, and provides treatment equipment to five clinics across Morocco, where over 800 children are born with clubfoot every year.

A Closer Look:

Globally, clubfoot is one of the most prevalent birth defects, with 200,000 children born with the condition each year. In high-income countries, clubfoot is detected and treated at birth, however in developing countries approximately 85% of cases are left untreated due to limited access to care. The result is a lifetime of considerable pain, marginalization, and limited mobility for an otherwise healthy individual with the position of their feet as the only obstacle to a fully functional, productive life.

MiracleFeet’s standard treatment is non-surgical, using the orthopedic-standard Ponseti method to manipulate the feet through casts and braces. The method is highly effective, providing full mobility in 95% of cases. The impact of receiving treatment, as opposed to living a lifetime of disability, is multifaceted. According to U.N. studies, disabled individuals in developing countries are 80%-90% likely to be unemployed.* This means clubfoot treatment can create a lifetime of independence and the potential for an increase in lifetime earnings in excess of £100,000.

“MiracleFeet is dedicated to ensuring all children, no matter where they are born, have access to the life-changing treatment that will provide mobility, independence, and opportunity—for life. The Barzilai Foundation’s dedication to eliminating obstacles for vulnerable populations made them a natural fit for this expansion project. We’re proud to be partnering with Barzilai Foundation to change the trajectory of children’s lives in Morocco.”

Expanding Reach:

Through this program, the Barzilai Foundation and MiracleFeet will make treatment more accessible by drastically reducing the distance parents must travel to get their children necessary treatment. Lack of reasonable access, including the lack of transportation and high cost of travel, is one of the primary factors stopping children from getting care.

The Barzilai Foundation is sponsoring the training of medical professionals (35 orthopedic surgeons and physiotherapists), equipment and treatment materials of five clinics, in hospitals in Errachidia, Al Houcima, Béni Mellal, Tetouan, and Al Jadida.

“The difference in quality of life between a child who receives treatment and one who doesn’t is real,” said Brandon Sosa, CEO of the Barzilai Foundation. “With this expansion, we will put in the infrastructure for 100+ children, every year, to get the care they need and go on to live fully productive lives. That translates to somewhere around £10 million in lifetime earnings each year. Moving forward, this translates to financial stability for many young Moroccans and real benefits to their families, local economies and communities.”