South Africa

reasonsSouth Africa’s population is 51,770,560 [1], 30.1% of whom are under 15 [2] years old. South Africa’s birth rate is 19.32 per 1000. Based on an incidence of 2/1000 live births with clubfoot [3], more than 2000 babies are born with clubfoot per year in South Africa.

South Africa is divided into nine administrative provinces. Patients are diagnosed and sent from smaller hospitals and clinics to referral hospitals, where STEPS SA has partnered with existing clinics, and supported the set-up of new clubfoot clinics.

At the end of 2012 STEPS signed a grant agreement with miraclefeet to start a clinic support programme, which began in January 2013.

STEPS South African programme partner clinics are situated in Johannesburg, Soweto and Ga-Rankuwa (Gauteng), Cape Town, Bellville, Worcester, Paarl and George (Western Cape), Kimberley (Northern Cape), Bloemfontein (Free State) and Acornhoek, Kabokweni (Mpumalanga).

Because of the size of South Africa, and because most clinics are located in highly populated areas, the more rural and sparsely populated regions are often far from clubfoot clinics, and the patients have to travel far for treatment. This can cause patient default and compromise treatment outcomes.

Because of this, STEPS has identified a need for refresher training and the opening of more clinics, particularly in the northern and eastern regions, during 2015/16. New clinic partnerships are in negotiation for launch during 2015.

An estimated total of 963 patients’ treatment will be supported between 1 July 2015  and 30 June 2016.


1. Census 2011 data from Statistics South Africa
2. Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision
3. (a) Incidence and Patterns of Congenital Talipes Equinovarus (Clubfoot) Deformity At Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Banter, Malawi. 1Kwandwire N.C., 2Kaunda E Cert. NMT.; (b) Common Birth Defects in South African Blacks. Kromberg JG, Jenkins T S Afr Med J 1982; 62: 599-602; (c) Congenital musculoskeletal malformations in South African blacks: a study on incidence. Pompe van Meerdervoort HF. S Afr Med J 1996; 50:1853-5.