Our Story

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Our Story 2017-03-24T05:45:28+00:00

Our clubfoot story


STEPS Charity NPC is a national and regional non-profit organisation and social enterprise working for the eradication of clubfoot as a disability in southern and east Africa. Our story started in 2003 with the birth of a boy with clubfoot in South Africa.

After successful treatment by Dr Ponseti in Iowa, Karen Moss returned home and told the story of her son’s successful treatment 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 and the Seychelles, and provide valuable information to parents across southern Africa.

Our four pillars are: Training, Clinic Support, Parent Education and Patient Support, and Braces

STEPS held its first training in 2006 to introduce the Ponseti Method to the South African Orthopaedics community, and to have consensus that the Ponseti Method is the best treatment for clubfoot.

Following on the training’s success, the 2nd 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 both 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.

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 miraclefeet with monitoring, evaluation and advice to a the Bugando Clubfoot Programme in Tanzania, and the set up of the national clubfoot network.

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

STEPS supports and partners with 25 clubfoot clinics in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and the Seychelles.

STEPS Ponseti for Parents (c) education materials are used in five southern and east African countries.

Download a PDF of the latest STEPS profile.

A journey of STEPS – Clubfoot treatment in South Africa from Karen Moss on Vimeo.