In Nepal, adults and children, like six-year-old Suman who are living with disabilities, face negative stigma and a high risk of neglect. Over a third of the population living with disability have a physical impairment – some from birth, and others acquired through road accidents, injuries during Nepal’s civil war, a lack of medical services outside of city centres, and the devastating earthquake in 2015.
Steep terrain and remote villages mean that children with physical disabilities often cannot attend school, and adults with disabilities are unable to be economically independent. However, more than half of the limb deformities can be restored with surgery and medical intervention if available. Unfortunately such services are limited and families are generally unaware that anything can be done, leaving people with disabilities dependent at home, in isolation and unable to achieve their full potential.
In Nepal, cbm New Zealand’s aim is to improve the quality of life of people living with physical disabilities through access to assessment, surgery and rehabilitation, enabling people to thrive and participate in community life just like any other.
Children and adults with physical disabilities living in remote areas are screened and assessed in mobile health and rehabilitation camps, and then provided with corrective surgeries, physiotherapy and assistive devices through cbm partner hospitals in Kathmandu.
The surgical camps reduce the costs for families by making care available locally so that parents don’t have to use their small wages to pay for travel costs. The camps also allow cbm partners to transfer basic surgical skills to local doctors and health workers in a supported environment.