The Haiti Rehab Project partners with other groups providing mobile medical and rehabilitation clinics throughout remote areas of rural Haiti. Here is where we really get to see what the needs were outside of the capital city of Port-au-Prince. We found many in need of rehab services that currently have no access to care. Imagine not having a cane or walker when these simple devices would completely change your ability to participate in your community. Imagine having back or neck pain for years that could be resolves with some basic education on stretches, exercise and proper body mechanics?
More About Community Based Rehabilitation
Community Based Rehab (CBR) is a strategy to improve access to rehabilitation services for people with disabilities in low-income and middle-income countries, by making optimum use of local resources. CBR addresses the broader needs of people with disabilities, ensuring their participation and inclusion in society and enhancing their quality of life. It is a development strategy that is currently implemented in over 90 countries throughout the world to address the needs of people with disabilities and their family members.
The purpose of any rehabilitation program is to help people with disabilities to do what others do in the home and community and to become socially integrated. (WHO) It is estimated that 7-10% of the population in developing countries is disabled and only 2-3% of the people who could benefit from rehabilitation are receiving services. There is a large gap between services needed and those provided. For rehabilitation to be effective, communities must recognize and accept that people with disabilities have the same rights as other human beings. It is not possible to meet all the needs with services at the community level. However, up to 70% of needs could be dealt with in the community. Referrals are then made for higher level services when needed.
Providing community delivered services as a part of a CBR, can respond to issues such as hard to reach populations, and workforce shortages. They can work with people with disabilities and their families and initiate referrals to appropriate service providers, facilitate access to services and ensure maintenance, repair and replacement of assistive devices when necessary
(WHO, Training in the Community for People to Disabilities, 2010a)