A message from our founder on COVID-19
Dear Steps clubfoot care community,
We are all dealing with an unprecedented situation in our country. As our president has said, “If we act together, if we act now, and if we act decisively, we will overcome it.”
We want to reassure you that we at Steps are continuing our work to improve the lives of babies born with clubfoot.
Steps is a registered essential services provider.
We are taking precautions and will remain operating as normal in our service to clubfoot patients.
We have put the following measures in place effective 16 March:
- Cape Town office status:
- To answer the call for social distancing, the Cape Town office staff will all be working remotely.
- Our executive director has constant contact with all staff via the technology that we have available to us to enable remote working and our work will continue as usual.
- The Steps office landline is operational (021 462 7357), it is re-directed to our office manager’s cell phone to take calls on ordering braces and clubfoot support.
- WhatsApp messages to 078 563 0106.
- We will still be sending out orders via courier as usual, to service patients.
- We will use sanitising hand cleaner before handling product and packaging.
- Our courier company is taking necessary precautions. More information on their website.
- On delivery you may request that the driver places the delivery package and waybill at your door and steps back two metres allowing you to sign the waybill in full with your own pen and take your delivery inside, then close the door with the signed waybill outside, which the driver will retrieve.
- Clubfoot clinics status
We are in constant contact with the Steps medical director, and our information is led by the decisions and communications we receive from each individual clinic as well as the Department of Health and the World Health Organisation.
We are keeping a COVID-19 operational status list of all the clubfoot clinics we work with in South Africa.
In compliance with the current 21-day lockdown, only essential medical services are permitted, and many of the clinic staff are working on rotation to minimise exposure. There are increased security measures at hospitals to control the number of people entering the hospital and screening.
- Some clinics are continuing casting for babies already in treatment, but will only take on new cases when the COVID-19 situation is stabilised. This is so that treatment can be assured without any interruption.
- Any standard follow-ups are discouraged, and should be done when the clinic is at full operating capacity again.
- They are also seeing patients who are going from tenotomy into the first brace.
It is important to note that Ponseti clubfoot treatment can be delayed for a while and still be done successfully. Stretching exercises can also be done in the interim. We will post some exercises that were advised by Dr Matthew Dobbs.
Steps clinic coordinators who continue to work in clinics are observing the usual good hygiene and prevention practices as well as any additional practices recommended by WHO and the South African Department of Health.
If any Steps clinic coordinator has flu-like symptoms, they will self-isolate and not attend the clinic.
- Ongoing support
We remain committed to serving the needs of clubfoot patients during this time.
We will issue updates as necessary, with social media posts also acting as updates as well as support emails.
Stay calm, stay safe, and take care of yourselves and others.
Karen and the Steps Clubfoot Care team.