In order to improve the access of people with disability to quality health services, even in isolated areas of Kashmir, Handicap International is supporting the Hope Disability Center, a local organization working in three districts of the Jammu and Kashmir state. Asif Haider, a 14 year old boy, is one of the many beneficiaries of this project.
Asif Haider is a 14 year old boy who lived with foot deformity until he was able to receive corrective surgery, last year.
His father, Ghulam Haider is a carpenter and was not able to pay for the surgery costs. “I could not afford medical treatment for my son Asif, and that is why his condition was left unattended for almost 13 years. It was in June 2011 that my friend told me about the Physical Rehabilitation Centre at Ganderbal. Immediately, I along with Asif visited the Centre, where specialists assessed my son’s condition, and referred him to the Hospital in Bemina for corrective surgery”.
As part of its strategy, Handicap International and its local partner, Hope Disability Centre, covered all medical expenses. In addition to granting financial access to quality health services, Handicap International indents to facilitate physical access to the appropriate health facilities. For Asif, who was recovering from his successful surgery, this meant being able to go to the physical rehabilitation centre on a regular basis. But with his family living far away from the centre, it was impossible.
This is why Handicap International opened a residential and post surgery care hostel in Kashmir. A relief to Mr. Ghulam Haider! After surgery, Asif’s legs were put on a fixator which meant his movements for the time being need to be restricted. By staying at the hostel, Asif is able to receive post surgery rehabilitation services, such as physiotherapy exercises, from the staff at Physical Rehabilitation Centre.
“We are getting quality services here at the hostel and the experts from Physical Rehabilitation Centre visit the hostel three times a day to see my son. We feel as if we are at home”, says Ghulam Haider.
For Noor Mohammad, Hostel supervisor, “Asif’s condition is improving and we are observing him closely. He needs constant supervision and follow-ups. Initially Asif was supposed to stay here for about a week, but after doctor’s consultation at the hospital, we chalked out further rehabilitation plan for him.”
Asif seems quite optimistic after his surgery as he says, “Before surgery, I was walking with a limp and not able to run. At times, even walking became painful for me. Now with surgery, I hope that one day I can run and move fast. Earlier while playing cricket I was taking the help of a runner, but now that I have had this surgery I have good hope that I’ll be able to hold my position alone and do the running myself!”