Kalid and Abdulwahid in Ethiopia
Fatiya and her husband live in the Oromia region of Ethiopia south of the capital city of Addis Ababa. This farming family has two children named Kalid and Abdulwahid. When the older brother Kalid was born, they didn’t realize his one foot had an issue. Fortunately, a neighbor visited and she took note to the child’s twisted foot. She knew a little bit about clubfoot through a family friend whose child also was born with this common birth defect. She also knew it could be treated at the Hope Walks Ethiopia partner clinic in Adama. Kemal and Fatiya were confused and shocked, but they wasted no time in getting Kalid to the clinic to see what could be done.
Things were going well in Kalid’s treatment. The family had much happiness and joy in their son’s healing, until their second son, Abdulwahid, was also born with clubfoot. They were confused and had many questions about why this kind of deformity kept happening to them. They also thought it was the wrath of Allah making them pay for past sins.
The challenges parents face through the clubfoot journey are not insignificant, both psychological and social. They need to be resilient to travel sometimes long distances to clinic visits. They face discrimination and judgement from family. Now, this family who seemed to be through the worst of it was right back to where they started.
But Hope Walks understands all of this. Our partner clinics don’t only treat the child physically, they also offer counseling sessions and education to walk families through all they are facing. Fatiya’s family is thankful for all the extra support they get during their stay in Hope walks partner clinic at Adama.
“Having a proper knowledge and understanding of clubfoot’s psychosocial burden during our counseling follow-up helped us to overcome all the confusion and stress we felt at first,” Fetiya and Kemal said.
Fatiya expressed her gratitude saying, “I felt joy when I saw my first-born start walking and playing like any other kid. I am very thankful to all of you who participated in changing my little boy’s life.” Kemal also added saying “May God bless all the clinicians, parent advisors, and Hope Walks organization for making this amazing change in our generation.”