Physical Rehabilitation

Most of CBM Australia’s physical rehabilitation work is done as part of our Community Based Inclusive Development programs, building resilient communities that are inclusive of all marginalised groups and their rights, in particular people with disabilities.

In addition to working with communities so that everyone understands the importance of including and supporting people with disabilities, our programs work with people with disabilities themselves, and their families, through treatment, rehabilitation and provision of devices such as hearing aids or wheelchairs, so that they are able to go out and participate in the community.

What our programs do

Our programs work at different levels of the health care system – from small primary health clinics in communities through to large regional hospitals.
  • Training health workers on how to find people who need physical rehabilitation and refer them for the treatment and support that they need. Finding children earlier, because the earlier children are supported the better their chances of doing well in the long run.
  • Physiotherapy and rehabilitation services to support children and families after surgery or with ongoing disability-related needs.
  • Providing much needed devices such as wheelchairs to help people move around their community and participate.
  • Providing health workers with posters and brochures in local languages to raise awareness in communities about available resources for physical rehabilitation.
  • Training doctors, nurses and health workers to build their skills so they can achieve excellent results for children, families and adults.
  • Health worker training to identify physical rehabilitation needs in the community and referring people to services.
  • Our partners have a special focus on training community based health workers and traditional healers so that they can identify and refer clubfoot cases from their villages.
  • We aim to work with government wherever possible so that our impact is far greater. For example, by linking with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health and promoting the Ponseti method for clubfoot treatment, we are able to improve access to this life-changing treatment for all children in Ethiopia.
  • Some of our projects reach the national level by supporting university training curricula. This means that future physiotherapists and other medical specialists will be well-equipped to support people with disabilities.

Now I can Run!

Sweet Honey, mother and John walking bar

“Now I can run!’’, Eyob said in an excited voice as he came to collect a t-shirt for the Ethiopian Great Run children’s race. He was running excitedly around the hospital grounds. Even the camera man was having a hard time taking Eyob’s picture. His clubfoot treatment had made the difference between pain and difficulty walking, and being able to run.

Eyob was one of 50 children provided with a t-shirt by the National Clubfoot Program in preparation for the run.  For these 50 children, their dream of running had been realised through treatment obtained from one of the clubfoot clinics that a CBM partner supports. These children have been promoting the Clubfoot Program’s motto of “Let us meet the dream of a child to run,” urging others with clubfoot to be treated.

Through CBM Australia’s partner clubfoot program in Ethiopia, children who may have otherwise lived with clubfoot for life, and depending on their environment, potentially increased disadvantage and poverty, were able to participate in the race.

Find out more in our Resources Section.

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