After three months passed since the earthquake hit and devastated Nepal, AMDA continues to support rehabilitation in collaboration with AMDA Nepal and local organizations.
One of AMDA’s rehabilitation activities is for people with disabilities to return their home. Instead of providing them wheelchairs directly, AMDA decided to dispatch AMDA Physical therapist to the wheelchair manufacturing training session for technicians and provided materials to build wheelchair. In this way, local technicians can build and repair wheelchairs on their own in the future.
AMDA dispatched AMDA physical therapist to the wheelchair Manufacturing Training session hosted by Nepal government from July 28th. Also, AMDA supported Independent Living Center for Persons with Disabilities (CIL) Kathmandu to procure materials to build wheelchairs after the training sessions.
After the initial session, CIL Kathmandu and Kathmandu University asked participants to gather again, and they set the goal to build 50 wheelchairs made of aluminum in two months with the support from aluminum welding engineers. University students, their professors as well as local technicians will cooperate to accomplish their goal with the support from a lecturer from Japan.
Then on July 31st, the Wheelchair Manufacturing Training Conference was held in Kathmandu attended by 50 participants from Nepal government, international NGOs, private medical sectors and organizations of people with disabilities.
AMDA Physical therapist emphasized the importance of supporting the disabled and introduced AMDA’s ‘Sogo-Fujo spirit’: mutual cooperation. He reported that many patients suffered from spinal cord injuries and amputations after the earthquake. He also introduced the current serious living condition in shelters where newly disabled people are staying after the Nepal earthquake. Because of the condition, he believes there is a high possibility for those with disabilities to have an effect on their health. To cope with the current situation, he explained the necessity to provide them support towards their independent living and to improve the environment for the wheelchair users. Especially regarding wheelchairs, he expressed the significance of producing materials and build wheelchairs locally. If Nepal can train Nepali technicians, they can make suitable wheelchairs to Nepali patients locally. From the economical aspect, that will create more jobs for local technicians.
AMDA believes that sharing information on people with disability among government, medical institutions and organizations will be a key to prevent them from being medical refugees who are transferred from one hospital to another repeatedly or living under the severe condition in the future.