Eva is smiling because her son Rafi, 4, has almost finished his clubfoot treatment.
Rafi was born with bilateral clubfoot, which means both his feet were turned inwards. This congenital condition affects 1 in 1,000 children in Bangladesh and, without treatment, creates a lifelong disability.
Children with clubfoot often struggle to attend school and, later in life, to find work. Many are forced resort to menial labour or even begging.
Eva fights clubfoot stigma
When Rafi was born, Eva was shamed by her family because of misconceptions about clubfoot. Her relatives believed that Eva had done something wrong to receive this punishment from God.
However, Eva’s aunt worked at a hospital in Gazipur. She advised Eva to take Rafi to a Walk for Life clinic, which offers free treatment for children with clubfoot.
Walk for Life doctors diagnosed Rafi with clubfoot when he was just 40 days old. They performed a tenotomy – a small incision that lengthens the Achilles tendon so the feet can be repositioned properly.
They also fitted Rafi with plaster casts and braces to slowly bring the feet into the correct alignment.
Rafi’s brighter future
Now four-and-a-half years old, Rafi has full range of motion in his feet. He only wears braces at night to ensure his feet don’t relapse.
Eva’s family are thrilled at the results of the treatment. Eva and Rafi couldn’t be happier that he can now run and jump like children born without clubfoot.
Donate now to help more children like Rafi access clubfoot treatment.
Sustainable Development Goals
This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).