Handicap International’s goal is to create and coordinate the country’s long-term capacity to provide rehabilitation and fitting services. That’s why the organisation is training its Haitian staff to ensure the sustainability of its services. Specialists from our organisation are currently developing a diploma-based training programme to enhance the transfer of skills and the long-term impact of our operations, in collaboration with Haitian and expatriate staff from the Healing Hands for Haiti organisation.
Handicap International’s functional rehabilitation centre has played host to groups of children with cerebral palsy aged 4 to 6, accompanied by their parents, since the middle of April 2011. Based around six sessions held over six weeks, the association helps parents independently case-manage their children by teaching them a number of simple practices. An initial evaluation performed by our teams and partners enabled us to identify 70 children. They are gradually being provided with sessions at the centre.
An initial home visit enables us to identify children’s needs in terms of orthopaedic-fitting (orthoses), technical aids for daily activities, and advice on enhancing their self-reliance. Then, during the sessions organised at the centre, the children accompanied by a parent perform sensorial simulation activities (based mainly around games and drawing, which also enable children to express their needs) and functional exercises (learning to sit down, eat, etc.).
Handicap International produces or assembles aids such as chairs or vertical surfaces to help the children stand up.
Our teams evaluated the areas covered by the emergency relief effort and identified the risk sectors and resource persons to mobilise in the event of a new disaster. An inventory of emergency relief access roads and logistical resources already available on the ground is currently being performed by local aid operators, including the Haitian Civil Protection Department.
The association has also built up and positioned stocks of equipment that can be used in the event of a new emergency, such as tents, blankets, walking aids, torches and radios (to ensure isolated persons are able to receive information about a cyclone, etc.).
If a new and major emergency arises, the organisation will be able to mobilise pre-identified teams to immediately perform evaluations based on pre-defined procedures and to provide a multi-sector response covering basic needs (sheets, hygiene kits, cooking kits, etc.) such as water, hygiene, sanitation, health, nutrition, education and child protection.