Health and health care service is the first and important step to overcome the barriers
Case story of physical rehabilitation of a national athlete in Thailand
“My mum always tell me that I have everything the same as others, I have not got any less than other, it depends on that we will do it or not” Kai Dow Kai Dow, a 31 years old Thai national shooting athlete was diagnosed of congenital myelomeningocele and had an operation when she was 5 months old. After operation, she could not move her right leg and develop chronic ulcers in both feet and legs caused. Amputation below knees both lower limbs were done when she was 18 years old. After amputation, she came to the WHO Collaborating Centre for Training in Medical Rehabilitation and Prosthetics - Orthotics (Prosthetics and Orthotics Unit, Sirindhorn National Medical Rehabilitation Centre - SNMRC) for prostheses in 2001. Though, Kai Dow was physically challenged but she finished her graduation and worked several years in a private company. Kai Dow started practicing shooting very hard when she was 27 years old. Her ambition was to qualify as a national shooting athlete and finally she succeeded. Now, she is at the 15th of International Paralympics Committee Shooting World Ranking. In June 2013, Kai Dow came to SNMRC once again and received an advanced technology artificial limbs, energy storage prosthetic foot. After that Kai Dow can walk and participate in social activities joyfully. “Since receiving the new prosthesis, Kai Dow has been smiling happily, I have never seen her smiling like this before” her close friend mentioned. Kai Dow is one of the example of person with disabilities (PWDs) who lives, works and even be the national athlete. She is not only the model of PWDs who live independently in Thailand but also for PWDs worldwide.
Vijayalaksmi – A case of physical rehabilitation of an Indian Woman
Vijayalaksmi is a 55-year-old widow who lives with her three sons in a remote area of South India. She was very active and mobile before she had a stroke as a result of undetected hypertension. She had initial treatment at various places including native medicine but she became immobile and dependent for daily activities. Because of her dependence in activities of daily living at home created immense distress and frustration among the immediate family members. Her youngest son and a neighbour had to assist her for day to day activities. At that point, the WHO Collaborating Centre for Development of Rehabilitation Technology, Capacity Building and Disability Prevention, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Low Cost Effective Care Unit, Community Based Rehabilitation - CBR Programme of Christian Medical College, Vellore helped to make Vijayalakshmi partially independent in self-care activities through a combination of exercises and counselling. The CBR (Community Based Rehabilitation) volunteer has innovatively used local material and technology to splint for her deformed hand. She was also treated at Vellore Christian Medical College for her hypertension. She found accessing continuing care from the hospital was difficult because of her physical and financial situation. However, with the help of the CBR volunteer and the secondary care centre and gradually her condition improved. Now, she is capable of participating in the annual networking festival for people with disabilities organized by the CBR volunteers.