Jamel Balhi, the first marathoner around the globe has visited Spinal Cord Unit – 1 project of Handicap International in Viet Nam on June 8, 2007. His short visit in Ho Chi Minh Hospital for Rehabilitation and Professional Diseases remained a memorable moment.
Welcomed by Eric Weerts, the coordinator of the project, Jamel witnessed the serious situation commonly found in some developing countries like Viet Nam, such as road accidents, labor accidents and domestic accidents. Most of the patients suffer from quadriplegia (4 limbs paralyzed) with little chance of being able to walk again.
Beginning in 2003, Spinal Unit Project focuses on solving typical complications, including limiting pressure sore, urology incontinence…
Spinal Unit offers patients the opportunities to access care and rehabilitation like physical therapy, practical therapy, psychological support, orthopedic devices. Together with adapting the wheelchair suitable for patients, Handicap International also includes social integration, sport into treatment procedures.
As the first centre in Viet Nam to care for patients with Spinal Cord Injury, Spinal Unit lives up to the international standard in Viet Nam.
During this visit, Jamel confides his feeling and personal experiences in patients. Successfully surmounting his own physical and psychological challenges to become a marathoner around the world (setting foot on 171 countries), Jamel is an example for all patients. He also joined with patients during the break of their archery match.
Thanks Jamel Balhi for his visit. His humane viewpoint will be a big encouragement for our actions.