Philippines: walking proud at Jubilee
A person who loses an arm or a leg often struggles psychologically to deal with the loss and the trauma. Some of those who have lost limbs through armed conflict or violence have narrowly escaped death, losing their homes and families. The ICRC is supporting the Davao Jubilee Foundation, a Philippine NGO that provides physical rehabilitation services to amputees and other people with disabilities.
The Davao Jubilee Foundation mainly helps people from Mindanao, a region affected by conflict and insecurity, and the ICRC has been sending war-wounded patients to the Foundation since 2000.
"Jubilee reassures people that there are ways back to life," said Chona Serra, who coordinates the Foundation's physical rehabilitation programme. "We want everyone in the region to know about the centre, and for everyone with a disability to benefit from our services."
The ICRC recently expanded its support to Jubilee, and is now enabling the Foundation's technicians to undertake specialized studies in prosthetics and orthotics. In December 2010, Jubilee built a gait training area with assistance from the ICRC, where patients learn to walk on their artificial legs. Meanwhile, a new workshop is under construction as the centre switches to polypropylene for artificial limbs.
The ICRC sponsored orthopaedic technologist Glorycel Lasquite to study at a leading orthotics and prosthetics school in Cambodia. "The advantage of polypropylene is that we can produce prostheses more quickly," she explains. "Patients will only have to wait a week, whereas producing artificial limbs using our current lamination technology takes much longer. The time we save will allow patients to focus on rehabilitation, which includes learning how to walk properly using an artificial leg."
With a new workshop and enhanced technology, Davao Jubilee Foundation is enabling its patients to "walk proud."