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COVID-19: Physical therapists help prevent the spread in vulnerable communities

Health Protect vulnerable populations Rehabilitation
International

Humanity & Inclusion’s teams are making changes to the way they work and assisting at-risk populations in response to the global spread of COVID-19. This will include providing local people with accessible, stay healthy messages, and offering access to physical therapists via WhatsApp. Our emergency rehabilitation expert Pauline Falipou explains:

Ludia is an 7 year-old little girl from South Sudan following a rehabilitation session with her physiotherapist.

Ludia is an 7 year-old little girl from South Sudan following a rehabilitation session with her physiotherapist. | © Quinn Neely / HI

“We are particularly concerned about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the most vulnerable people in the countries where we work—Africa, Central and South America, and Asia. We are making changes to our working practices in order to continue providing rehabilitation care, for example, where health conditions allow.

We are going to make sure that our physical therapists can continue their work organizing rehabilitation sessions for people who need them in countries where the virus ha yet to have a major impact. Our physical therapists will also pass on key messages about health and hygiene measures, such as hand washing, social distancing, etc. As they are in direct contact with the most vulnerable people, they are on the front line—the best place to convey this sort of information.

In addition, we are setting up a program of rehabilitation videos that patients can watch so that they can continue doing their rehabilitation exercises at home. They can also talk to their HI physical therapist via WhatsApp.

We also want to make sure patients who have had surgery or who have been infected with the coronavirus, and need to get back on their feet, are able to benefit from rehabilitation sessions in hospitals where hygiene guidelines are followed.

More broadly, we are very concerned about the impact of the economic crisis COVID-19 is likely to cause, particularly on the health care system and the ability of the most vulnerable people to access rehabilitation services.”

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