Hidayatullah was born in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2021. At the hospital, the doctors noticed that he had club foot, a condition where a baby is born with a foot or feet that turn in and under.
His mother - who didn’t know anyone with this condition in her family - was very worried. She told the doctors about her fears. Would her son be able to stand up? Would he be able to walk one day?
The doctors immediately referred Hidayatullah and his mother to Humanity & Inclusion's rehabilitation centre in Kandahar. This is the only rehabilitation centre in southern Afghanistan and it is staffed by 52 specialists.
After examining the baby, HI's physiotherapists quickly reassured his mother that they could treat the condition.
"The physiotherapist assured me that his feet would be better after the right treatment," she tells us.
There were several stages to Hidayatullah’s treatment. First, his feet were put in casts. These casts were changed every week for several weeks to make gradual corrections and slowly straighten the position of his feet.
"This process went on for a while, but my son's feet were getting into the right position and shape, which gave me hope," continues Hidayatullah's mother.
HI’s teams then fitted Hidayatullah with an orthopaedic brace: small shoes with a bar attached. He wore his 'boots' for almost a year. They kept his feet turned outwards. Throughout this period, the baby was monitored by HI’s teams. Checks and adjustments would be needed until he reached walking age.
Hidayatullah's treatment went smoothly. Today, he is standing up, ready to take his first steps – and his family is reassured.
"My son can now play with other children. He can stand and walk on his own now that his feet are straight. I hope he will be a good student at school," adds his mother. "My whole family and I are happy now, and grateful for the services and staff at HI."