Namibia has 2 million inhabitants, 36.4% of which are under 14 years of age . The birth rate is 21.11/1000 of the population. Based on an incidence of 1/500 live births with clubfoot in southern Africa, it is estimated that around 90 babies are born with clubfoot per year in Namibia.
STEPS with the support of a grant from miraclefeet provided assistance for the launch of the new Ponseti clubfoot clinic at WCH in April 2013, run by Dr Ernest Kombo, who attended the STEPS Botswana Ponseti training in June 2013.
The WCH clinic developed well due to good leadership, hospital support and the supply of braces and data capture training from STEPS.
STEPS, in partnership with WCH and the Namibian Ministry of Health, organised the first Namibia Ponseti training in November 2013, with 28 delegates from five regions: Khomas, Hardap, Oshikito, Kavango, and Oshana.
In November 2013, STEPS Namibia Clubfoot Programme (SNCP) was established as a registered section 21 (non-profit) company.
In April 2015, the 2nd Namibia Ponseti training supported by STEPS with faculty and funding was held at Keetmanshoop Hospital. The Namibian Ministry of Health intends to establish a new clubfoot clinic for this region following the training.
A Ponseti refresher training was held at Windhoek Hospital in July 2015, and trainings in Oshakati and Rundu in August and September 2015.
In August and September 2015, two more Ponseti clubfoot clinics were established in Oshakati and Rundu, so that patients from Northern Namibia can have treatment closer to where they live.
In June 2016, three years after STEPS introduced the Ponseti method to Namibia, the Namibian Permanent Secretary for Health thanked us for our contribution to the successful treatment clubfoot patients by introducing the Ponseti method, supporting the opening of the clinic, and Ponseti trainings. The Ministry of Health and Social Services will manage the Namibian Clubfoot Programme as a sustainable programme within the public health system. STEPS Namibia’s future role will be to support patient welfare and to improve the lives of children born with clubfoot in Namibia, in partnership with local clubfoot champions.
1. Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision