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Handicap International in Bolivia: more than 2,800 rehabilitation care beneficiaries

Rehabilitation
Bolivia and Andean states

In Bolivia, Handicap International has helped set up seven rehabilitation centres  and promotes access to quality care for people with disabilities. Within the space of two years, more than 2,800 people have benefited from our rehabilitation services.

Projet de réadaptation de Handicap International en Bolivie | © J. Tusseau

Qualified rehabilitation professionals are in short supply in Bolivia, and there are very few training courses, particularly outside the capital. One of our top priorities is to boost the skills of professionals working in the sector and to help people with disabilities become more self-reliant and included in their communities,” explains Narel Gomez, Handicap International’s rehabilitation project manager

Seven rehabilitation centres have been set up in the departments of Potosí and Oruro, and more than 2,800 people have been given rehabilitation care with help from Handicap International since January 2014. Handicap International trains health professionals, such as doctors and physiotherapists, to use technical tools to assess the self-reliance, mobility and pain of people with disabilities. Handicap International also helps to improve their rehabilitation techniques and management skills .

We make sure centres are accessible to all, particularly people with disabilities, by building access ramps, installing lifting devices, and fitting them with special equipment. Rehabilitation staff also need to be trained to build trust between them and very vulnerable people. We place a particular emphasis on women and girls, who also have a right to these services. We also support mothers of disabled children to prevent them from feeling guilty and to help them accept their situation,” continues Narel Gomez.

Handicap International has also set up committees of people with disabilities in each rehabilitation centre where they can talk and take part in activities. “We want people with disabilities to be actors and to raise awareness of disability. To us, the rehabilitation process has to have a social dimension. That includes providing psychological support to people with disabilities so they can express their feelings and overcome their trauma.

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