“Promote community-based rehabilitation (CBR) to facilitate access for disabled people to existing service”, this is what the World Health Organisation (WHO) highlighted in its article about the promotion of improved health care for people with disabilities.
Just as WHO advices, Cedar Tanzania takes the already existing good quality medical care of Kamanga Health Centre on the road by bringing it directly to people with disabilities, in the rural areas of Nyamatongo Ward. It’s been doing this tirelessly for two years now, with the help of generous donors. But Cedar Tanzania is also addressing another one of WHO’s recommendation - to “Integrate disability education into undergraduate and continuing education for all health-care professionals.”
On the 19th of September Kamanga Health Centre (KHC) hosted a day of training led by volunteer doctors Naidu and Wong as well as CBR Field Officer Jackie and Clinical Officer Neema. Together they presented the Reproductive and Child Health staff and labour department of KHC with specific information about the early identification of pre-natal symptoms of possible impairments and the possible causes and management of these impairments. As Jackie says, “the main objective is to reduce the occurrence of impairments… because some of them can be prevented either during pregnancy or during birth and delivery.”
Implementing community based rehabilitation to deliver healthcare to rural areas and retraining the Reproductive and Child Health staff to identify pre-natal symptoms of possible fetal impairment, are two of the ways suggested by WHO in which medical care-givers can improve medical services for people with disabilities. Cedar Tanzania is not only implementing both of these practices but is also going a step further – by holding community events in which families and village members can be informed about the best ways of caring for people with disabilities, thus reducing the social stigma and prejudice that often plagues them in Tanzanian communities.
Change lives with Cedar Tanzania as a volunteer doctor, medical teacher or therapist (occupational and physio).