On World Physical Therapy Day 2013, we recognize SVYM and the Global Strategies Field Volunteers that have been working to establish a sustainable rehabilitation program for children and adults with disabilities in Karnataka, India. The World Health Organization estimates that between 110-119 million people live with conditions that impair their ability to function. These individuals are particularly susceptible to not only conditions related to their disability, but secondary conditions that develop because they cannot get to care. Global Strategies is working to change that by partnering with SVYM to deliver care where it is needed most--in the clinic, but also in the home.
With shoulder-to-shoulder mentoring from Global Strategies Field Volunteers Laura, Deanna, Jane and Mitul, SVYM created a local rehab team and built a rehabilitation gym. Now, three days a week the hospital houses outpatient therapy in the new rehab gym, and once a week the rehab team performs field visits to the homes of children and adults who are too sick and/or disabled to travel to the hospital. This is strenuous work with long days traveling on unpaved dirt roads. However, the rehab team feels strongly that maintaining these field visits, where lifesaving therapy can be delivered in a meaningful manner and within the family's daily means, is essential to improving health. See photo and story of the work being done below.
C.N. is an 8 year-old boy with cerebral palsy. With the help of his family, he is working on stretching and strengthening his legs in preparation for braces. C.N. attends school and can move around his home and school well enough by crawling, but with braces he would have the potential to walk. C.N. comes weekly to the outpatient clinic, and we were also able to go to his home on a field visit outing to give specific recommendations to him and his family in his everyday environment.