Salamato in Benin

Instead of being overtaken by fear, Chimene and Ismael remained calm after learning their daughter Salamato was born with clubfoot. Motivated by the hope of healing given at the hospital at her birth, Salamato’s family immediately sought treatment at the Hope Walks Bethesda partner clinic. Without hesitation, Ismael brought his daughter to the clinic.

Right away Chimene and Ismael developed a meaningful relationship with their parent advisor. For the first time, they felt heard and were able to get answers to all their questions. This stood in stark contrast to discouragement given by community members who advised Chimene and Ismael to treat their daughter with traditional herbs.

As a constant source of encouragement, their parent advisor helped the family remain consistent in Salamato’s treatment. At one point, Ismael was tempted to end treatment out of fear of his daughter’s feet being overcorrected. This created conflict between him and Chimene. Thankfully, their parent advisor was able to reconcile the situation and help them make the choice to continue treatment. 

The parents come from different religions; Chimene follows Islam while Ismael is a Christian. Ismael has expressed the difficulty their differences have had on their relationship but has also expressed how grateful he is for their parent advisor and the guidance that has been provided. 

Chimene and Ismael are now champions for clubfoot treatment. While at the clinic, they teach other families how to properly fit the brace on their child’s feet. Fully committed to the cause, they respect all their appointments and are more than willing to help others understand clubfoot and available treatment. 

“I learned a lot from this clinic,” the dad said. “Not only has my child been treated, but also, I am spiritually clean.”

Baby born with clubfoot in Benin before starting Ponseti treatment