Fighting Disability In Bolivia
Unfortunately a social stigma against people with a disability is still prevalent in Bolivia. To the extent that some people are ashamed to leave the house or are kept hidden and a secret by their family. It is not uncommon for people to be abandoned at the hospital due to social and economic issues and be burdened financially from their illness for the rest of their life. However, attitudes are changing in Bolivia; we aim to help this change by helping our patients realize what they can do, not what they can’t.
Providing prosthetics for low income Bolivians
Helping people to reclaim their lives
Providing the prosthetic is just the start of helping people back on their feet. Our prosthetists are very skilled at gait analysis and giving confidence to our patients. Ivonne, our centre manager, is a great source of psychological support and plays a counselling role to many of our patients who need guiding through the process and acceptance of their new life. We also aim to provide physiotherapy as often as we can recruit a volunteer with training.
The time spent in the clinic with our team is very important to our patients as these sessions build confidence and help people learn to work with their new limbs. This is essential to helping people to start realizing what they can do, as they say the first steps are the hardest.
The clinic is also set up in an open and relaxed environment where people can share experiences, feel confident in themselves, especially how they are after an amputation, discuss any concerns or worries and meet other people who will understand what they are going though. This is hugely important in the process of receiving a new limb and the acceptance and confidence of going back out to their new lives with a life changing prosthetic.