Go to main content

Lyon, the birthplace of Handicap International, is playing host to the rehabilitation world congress

Rehabilitation

Lyon will be playing host to the World Congress of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) between 22 and 25 June. Handicap International, which has its head office in Lyon, will use this congress to underline the importance of enabling people to access rehabilitation services at each stage of a humanitarian operation, from emergency operations to development programmes. Physical rehabilitation enables individuals to make full use of their physical abilities and promotes their inclusion within society.

A prosthetics and orthotics workshop at the National Disabled Fund rehabilitation centre in Kathmandu, which is supported by Handicap International. Nepal.

A prosthetics and orthotics workshop at the National Disabled Fund rehabilitation centre in Kathmandu, which is supported by Handicap International. Nepal. | © Till Mayer / Handicap International

“Rehabilitation needs to be fully integrated into emergency operations. If someone suffers multiple fractures in an earthquake, for example, and they do not receive immediate rehabilitation care, they will need to live with a disability,” explains Isabelle Urseau, Handicap International’s rehabilitation services manager. “Rehabilitation helps restore an individual’s physical functions, enabling them to use a limb again, to walk etc. which can be essential to their social and professional lives.”

The earthquake of 25 April in Nepal once again revealed the important role played by rehabilitation in the case-management of people with injuries. Among the thousands of people injured during the earthquake, many suffered fractures, spinal injuries, etc. Handicap International’s physiotherapists and occupational therapists and their Nepalese counterparts are still performing post-operative work in hospitals to help ensure their recovery.

Rehabilitation: a development lever

Similarly, structured rehabilitation services with adequate human and financial resources help drive development and reduce the discrimination suffered by people with disabilities - a vital weapon in the fight against poverty.
 
“Rehabilitation services are often the poor relations in health systems. They don’t exist at all in some countries,” adds Isabelle Urseau. “If someone is unable to access rehabilitation services it can aggravate their illness or disability, delay their discharge from hospital, limit what they can do and make it more difficult for them to play a role in society.”

Handicap International: functional rehabilitation operator

Present in some sixty countries worldwide, Handicap International provided rehabilitation care to 133,000 beneficiaries in 2014, either directly or through one of its partners. Handicap International conducts rehabilitation activities in emergency and development contexts in some thirty countries. The organisation recently launched one such project in Chad, where it is reviving the functional rehabilitation sector in partnership with the national authorities.

Where we work

Read more

“The war has made people withdraw into themselves"
© Gilles Lordet / HI
Explosive weapons Rehabilitation

“The war has made people withdraw into themselves"

Suad Al-Qadri works as a psychosocial support counsellor for HI in Sana'a, Yemen. She describes the mental condition of the patients assisted by HI and the impact of bombing on the psychological health of the city's inhabitants. 

Vienna Conference on Protecting Civilians in Urban Warfare
© HI
Emergency Explosive weapons Rehabilitation

Vienna Conference on Protecting Civilians in Urban Warfare

The Vienna Conference is due to take place on 1st and 2nd October 2019. HI Disarmament and protection of civilians Advocacy Manager Alma Taslidžan Al-Osta explains the final preparations.

Yeminis are exhausted by four years of war
© ISNA Agency / HI
Emergency Rehabilitation

Yeminis are exhausted by four years of war

HI has been providing rehabilitation care and psychosocial support in eight health facilities in Sana'a since 2015 and in one of Aden's main hospitals since last July. Maud Bellon, HI’s head of mission, tells us about the unacceptable situation now facing civilians.