Includes Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), hygiene kits, economic support and informational material to 26 ICRC-supported physical rehabilitation centers across Pakistan
ICRC provides support to people with disabilities during COVID-19. The access to protective gear, hygiene material and authentic information is crucial for everyone during a pandemic. Even more so, for people with disabilities (PWDs). International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as part of its response to COVID-19 is ensuring provision of these. It includes Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), hygiene kits, economic support and informational material. It is for 26 ICRC-supported physical rehabilitation centers across Pakistan.
PWDs constitute a particularly vulnerable segment during this pandemic. It is due to challenges relating to accessibility that exacerbate by a restriction on movement and services. To ensure continuity of services for PWDS and safety of the staff, the ICRC is providing 10,000 surgical masks. Moreover, it is providing 500 protection gowns, 20,000 examination gloves, 300 liters of disinfectant gel. It also includes 2,600 body soaps and 2600 toilet paper rolls to 26 physical rehabilitation centers across Pakistan.
Moreover, information, education and communication material has also been sent at all centers. It is to raise awareness about the necessary preventive measures among physical rehabilitation professionals and the PWDs receiving services. Many ICRC-supported physical rehabilitation centers are offering consultations. They are also offering free-of-cost treatment to PWDs during the pandemic with precautionary measures in place.
Underpinning the need to make services and information accessible to PWDs, Ilyas Syed, Chief Executive Officer of Paraplegic Centre Peshawar says, “During a crisis like this, it is very easy for people with disabilities to slip through the cracks of the health system. Our efforts ensure that we continue to meet their needs and equip them with appropriate knowledge. This is regarding the safety measures they can adopt to protect themselves at this time.”
Inclusive Approach to Assistance
To ensure an inclusive approach to assistance, the ICRC will also provide economic support. It is for 3400 deserving PWDs and their families. Furthermore, in collaboration with the DPO SSP in Multan, ICRC will support 500 wheelchair-bound individuals with food and hygiene parcels.
Head of the ICRC Physical Rehabilitation Program in Pakistan, Jozef Nagels adds, “Since 1984, we have been working in Pakistan. Our work includes provision of prosthetic and orthotic support to people who have lost a limb. In the current circumstances, it is time for solidarity, inclusion and compassion. Therefore, we continue to work in our capacity with the authorities and local partners. It is to ensure that the voices and needs of people with disabilities are addressed.”
Here is the official web page of ICRC: https://www.icrc.org/en
To ensure long-term sustainability of services, the ICRC works in close cooperation with local partners for its Physical Rehabilitation Program (PRP).
To ensure continuity of services during COVID-19, the ICRC is working with PIPOS Rehabilitation Services Program, CHAL Foundation, DGHS Merged Areas (Landi Kotal and Bajaur), Rehab Initiative, LRH Clubfoot Clinic, Paraplegic Center Peshawar, Friends of Paraplegic, Society for Special Persons, Indus Hospital PRCS, MPRC, CHEF International and, Pakistan Disabled Cricket Association.