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Ethiopia: improving care for the disabled

20-05-2008 News Release 08/86

Addis Ababa (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has organized a two-day workshop on the future of its cooperation with the Ethiopian government's regional labour and social affairs bureaux, six physical rehabilitation centres and three non-governmental organizations.

The meeting took place from 19 to 20 May in Addis Ababa and was attended by 22 participants.

Pierre Wettach, head of the ICRC's delegation in Ethiopia, opened the workshop by stressing the key role played over the years by ICRC limb-fitting and rehabilitation projects in the country and the current need for the organization to join its partners in devising a new plan to professionalize services for war-disabled people and destitute patients living in the community.

" The authorities support the physical rehabilitation centres around the country " , said Mark Zlot, head of the ICRC programme. " However, we want these services to be more accessible and to see financial support increase for the care they provide. Once everyone's tasks and responsibilities have been identified, the ICRC should be able to gradually transfer its activities to the authorities. "

Over the past 28 years, the ICRC has assisted more than 43,000 disabled people in Ethiopia. Its work includes supplying components and raw materials needed to manufacture items such as artificial limbs and orthotic appliances. The organization has also conducted numerous courses for limb-fitting technicians.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Patrick Mégevand, ICRC Addis Ababa, tel : +251 911480921