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 South Africa after a request from Windhoek Hospital, provided assistance for the launch of the new Ponseti clubfoot clinic at WCH in April 2013, run by Dr Ernest Kombo, who had attended the Steps Botswana Ponseti training in June 2013. The clinic was overseen by Paediatric Orthopaedic consultant Dr Jacques Jonck. 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. South African and Tanzanian Ponseti faculty trainers gave lectures and practical training in the Ponseti method.
In November 2013, Steps Namibia Clubfoot Programme (SNCP) was established as a non-profit.
In April 2015, the 2nd Namibia Ponseti training supported by Steps with South African faculty, curriculum, and training modelswas held at Keetmanshoop Hospital. The Namibian Ministry of Health intended 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. Steps supported the training with curriculum and training models.
In August and September 2015, two more Ponseti clubfoot clinics were established in Oshakati and Rundu, so that patients from Northern Namibia could 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 of treatment clubfoot patients by introducing the Ponseti method, supporting the opening of clinics with data capture and parent education, and Ponseti training.
The Ministry of Health and Social Services manages the Namibian Clubfoot Programme as a sustainable programme within the public health system. Steps Namibia supports the Oshakati clinic with assistance in data capture. Our role is to support patient welfare and to improve the lives of children born with clubfoot in Namibia, in partnership with local clubfoot champions, supporting three clubfoot clinics in Windhoek, Oshakati and Rundu.
1. Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision