"I thought my child would spend the rest of his life unable to walk": This local mom's story is raising awareness about clubfoot in SA
This Pretoria-based mom's son is one of more than 2000 babies born with clubfoot in South Africa each year, her story serves as an important marker in raising awareness around the treatable condition.
"More than 2000 babies are born with clubfoot per year in South Africa." (iStock)
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World Clubfoot Day is annually commemorated in June. 

The day is dedicated to raising awareness around the congenital condition impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of infants globally each year.   

The condition is identified as "a range of foot abnormalities usually present at birth (congenital) in which your baby's foot is twisted out of shape or position." 

According to STEPS, "more than 2000 babies are born with clubfoot per year in South Africa," and without proper medical attention, the condition causes disability. 

STEPS provides access to clubfoot treatment to South Africans in both urban and rural areas and was founded by a local mother, Karen Moss, who was determined to find a non-invasive treatment for her son, eventually coming across the Ponseti method in the USA. Karen Moss then established STEPS in South Africa, assisting upwards of 10 000 children to date.

Sadly, nonsurgical treatment is not suitable in all cases of clubfoot. 

According to OrthoInfo, clubfoot is grouped into two types, isolated clubfoot (which is the more common type), and the "more resistant to treatment," nonisolated clubfoot, which often requires surgical treatment. 


Also see: Understanding birth defects

Was your child born with clubfoot? Share your family's story with us, and we could publish your email. Anonymous contributions are welcome.


The Botha's story 

In a recent interview with YOU Magazine, Marelise Botha opened up about her son's story, sharing that she had no idea what clubfoot was when he was born. 

“I couldn’t understand what was wrong with his legs. I thought my child would spend the rest of his life unable to walk.” 

Despite several rounds of treatment, including "five orthopaedic casts," her six-month-old is still in need of surgical treatment, with the family currently depending on the collective resources of family, friends and donors. 

The family says they are "hoping and praying Theuns will have the operation in the next few months.”

Chat back:

Was your child born with clubfoot? 

Share your family's story with us, and we could publish your mail. Anonymous contributions are welcome.

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