Botswana

botswanaBotswana has a population of just over 2 million, 33% of whom are under 14. The country is divided into nine districts. The biggest cities are Gaborone and Francistown, with about 200 000 and 100 000 inhabitants respectively. Based on an incidence of 1/500 live births and a birth rate of 22.02/1000 of the population, it is estimated that over 90 babies are born with clubfoot per year in Botswana. [1]

After meeting with the Ministry of Health (MoH) in November 2012 and January 2013 to discuss a partnership to establish a National Clubfoot Programme, STEPS SA organised the first Botswana Ponseti training in June 2013 at Princess Marina Hospital, Gaborone. Twenty-three delegates attended from 12 hospitals/clinics, and seven towns/districts.

In July 2013, the Ponseti clubfoot clinic in Princess Marina Hospital started. By October 2013, the Princess Marina Hospital clubfoot clinic had already treated 34 patients. STEPS provides an in-clinic assistant, braces and administrative support. In November 2013 the STEPS Botswana Trust was registered as a non-profit trust in Gaborone.

Over 250 patients have not been treated in the pogramme since July 2013.

In May 2015 a Memorandum of Understanding with the Botswana Ministry of Health and Social Services to collaborate on the development of a national clubfoot programme and to raise awareness in the community that clubfoot can be treated.

In November 2014 STEPS organised the 2nd Botswana Ponseti training at Mahalapye Hospital with support from the Botswana Ministry of Health. A Ponseti trained team set up new clubfoot clinic at Mahalapye Hospital with support from STEPS, STEPS Botswana Trust, the PMH team and the Botswana Ministry of Health.

The 3rd Botswana Ponseti training was held in Maun in July 2015 at Letsholathebe II Memorial Hospital in partnership with Thuso Rehabilitation Centre. As a result of the training, a new clubofot clinic has been established at Letsholathebe Hospital with local support resources from Thuso.

1. Mkandawire N.C., Kaunda E, Incidence and Patterns of Congenital Talipes Equinovarus (Clubfoot) Deformity At Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Malawi