Our clubfoot story

about

STEPS Charity NPC is a national and regional non-profit organisation that enhances the lives of children born with clubfoot in southern and east Africa. Our story started in 2003 with the birth of a boy with clubfoot in South Africa.

After her son’s successful treatment by Dr Ponseti in Iowa, Karen Moss returned home and told the story to local doctors. Karen founded STEPS in 2005 to introduce and promote the Ponseti Method of clubfoot treatment in Southern Africa and support families going through the process.

STEPS is a registered NPC, NPO and PBO based in Cape Town, South Africa.

NPC: 2005/024391/08
PBO:  930 048 068
NPO: 051-217

We work with clubfoot clinics in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Tanzania, the Seychelles, and provide information and support to parents across southern and east Africa.

Our four pillars are: Training, Clinic Support, Advocacy, and Braces

STEPS held our first training in Johannesburg in 2006 to introduce the Ponseti Method to South African Paediatric Orthopaedic surgeons, and to have consensus that the Ponseti Method is the best treatment for clubfoot. Endorsed by Dr Ignacio Ponseti and with expert faculty from Brazil, Canada and the UK, the conference was a resounding success and drove the change of clubfoot treatment in the region.

The 2nd STEPS Ponseti workshop in 2007 focused on public health facilities, rural clinics and sustainability. Ugandan orthotists taught local technicians to make a low-cost clubfoot brace. CH Baragwanath’s workshop in Soweto produces 50-60 of these braces a month to sustain successful treatment.

The Ponseti Method is part of medical school curriculum and is the gold-standard of treatment for clubfoot in South Africa, having been endorsed by South African Paediatric Orthopaedic Society (SAPOS) as best practice. The current chairman and treasurer of SAPOS are Ponseti faculty trainers. STEPS medical director is a Ponseti faculty trainer.

As STEPS grew our scope of work in South Africa, we gained regional recognition.

STEPS supports and partners with 29 clubfoot clinics in South Africa, and mentors various clubfoot clinics and organisations in the region.

STEPS Ponseti for Parents (c) education materials are used in the Africa Clubfoot Training curriculum and have been translated into seven languages.

In 2012, STEPS participated in the third Ponseti training in South Africa, organised by SAPOS, for over 70 delegates from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Mozambique.

In December 2012, STEPS signed a partnership agreement with miraclefeet to implement a regional Ponseti clinic support programme in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.

In 2013 STEPS organised the 1st Ponseti training in Botswana (July) and Namibia (November) in partnership with the Ministry of Health and local hospitals and doctors.

STEPS assisted with monitoring, evaluation and advice to the Bugando Clubfoot Programme in Tanzania, and the set up of a Tanzanian national clubfoot network, now registered as the ‘TCCO’.

In April 2014 STEPS organised the first Ponseti training in the Indian Ocean Islands in Mahe, Seychelles in collaboration with the Seychelles Ministry of Health.

In May 2015 STEPS signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Botswana Ministry of Health to collaborate on a national clubfoot programme.

Download a PDF of the latest STEPS profile.