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Côte d'Ivoire: walking with heads held high

05-04-2012 News Release 12/74

Abidjan (SFD/ICRC) – The Special Fund for the Disabled (SFD) of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) signed a partnership agreement today with the Vivre Debout ("standing tall") centre linked to Abidjan's Yopougon Hospital. Over a three-year period, the SFD will help boost the capacity of Vivre Debout to provide physical rehabilitation services for the disabled, in particular for amputees.

The agreement was signed on the centre's 10th anniversary.

"Thanks to this agreement, we are hopeful that the Vivre Debout centre will become a model in this field for all of Côte d'Ivoire," said Max Deneu, in charge of the SFD's activities in Africa. "In the near future, the centre should develop new physical rehabilitation facilities in the country."

Under the cooperation agreement, the centre will be provided with the materials and equipment required to produce artificial limbs and other appliances using polypropylene. The agreement also provides for continuing education for Vivre Debout personnel and three-year scholarships to train new prosthetists-orthotists.

"This is an important time for our institution," said Dr Coulibaly, the director of Vivre Debout. "The agreement that we are signing with the SFD is the fruit of many discussions. It will enable us not only to respond more effectively to the needs of disabled people in Côte d'Ivoire, but also to reduce the cost of our services and thereby make them available to more patients."

The ICRC set up the SFD in 1983 to help ensure the continuity of its programmes for people disabled in connection with armed conflict and to support physical rehabilitation centres in developing countries. The SFD has similar regional offices in Latin America and in Asia.

For further information, please contact:
Max Deneu, SFD Addis Ababa, tel: +251 11 275 6240
Michel Deffontaines, SFD Lomé, tel: +228 22 21 20 60
Layal Horanieh, ICRC Abidjan, tel: +225 09 39 94 04