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Pakistan: more than 12,000 receive care in three physical rehabilitation centres

02-12-2011 News Release 11/249

Islamabad (ICRC) – This year alone, more than 12,000 people have benefited from services in physical rehabilitation centres supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Peshawar, Quetta and Muzaffarabad.

Ahead of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, to be observed on 3 December, the ICRC reaffirms its determination to press ahead with efforts to address the special needs of disabled people and help them play an active role in every aspect of life.

The ICRC-supported centres provide custom-made artificial limbs and supportive devices (orthoses), crutches and wheelchairs designed according to the needs of the patients. Physiotherapy helps patients learn how to use new devices and to regain their full mobility.

"Physical disability is a lifetime constraint," said Jozef Nagels, the head of the ICRC's physical rehabilitation project in Pakistan. "Whether due to natural or accidental causes, it not only cripples the body, but also impairs personal dignity and confidence. Through physical rehabilitation, we help people regain mobility, increase their independence and give them a chance to resume normal lives."

The ICRC provides physical rehabilitation services by supporting two local facilities, the Pakistan Institute of Prosthetic and Orthotic Sciences in Peshawar and the Christian Hospital Rehabilitation Centre in Quetta. It also established the Muzaffarabad Physical Rehabilitation Centre in cooperation with the local Ministry of Health.

In addition, the ICRC works together with the Hayatabad Paraplegic Centre to ensure that people with spinal cord injuries receive follow-up care in proximity to their communities. "We often receive patients who can't move at all," said Dr Ainy, who works at the centre. "They are depressed, with little or no hope of living a normal life again. After a few weeks of treatment, they leave the centre with a walking aid or a wheelchair. They gradually regain their confidence and resume normal activities as far as possible."

People living with physical disabilities need follow-up services along with good care throughout their lives. The ICRC works closely with rehabilitation centres to keep tabs on the registered patients and to identify new beneficiaries.

Through its physical rehabilitation programme and its Special Fund for the Disabled, the ICRC has been providing physical rehabilitation services for over 30 years in more than 40 countries. In 2011, over 170,000 people have benefited from these services.

For further information, please contact:
Anastasia Isyuk, ICRC Pakistan, tel: +92 300 850 81 38