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Football to promote the rehabilitation and inclusion of amputees

Rehabilitation

The European Football Championships, Euro 2016 (10 June-10 July), will be closely followed by fans of European football across the world. Handicap International’s teams plan to use the event to highlight how playing football or another sport can help restore some of the mobility and self-esteem of lower-limb amputees. Isabelle Urseau, a rehabilitation specialist at Handicap International, tells us more.

Blaurah, 17 months, tries playing football with her first prosthesis with the help of her mother, at an orthopaedic centre in Haiti. | William Daniels / Handicap International

“In many of the health care centres supported by Handicap International, ball games, particularly football, play a central role in the rehabilitation of patients with a lower-limb amputation.”

“In terms of physiotherapy, ball exercises help patients with prostheses gain confidence in their orthopaedic device and their new form of mobility. We start with a step, then a pass, some dribbling and maybe even a match on crutches...”

“Lastly, it has an even bigger impact on their morale: the exercises are more entertaining and easy to follow because it’s a game. The youngest patients realise they can still have fun with their friends.”

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HI launches emergency response to assist injured
© Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency/ AFP

HI launches emergency response to assist injured

10 teams will be working in the five governorates of Gaza starting the end of the week, supplying at-home rehabilitation care to people injured in the demonstrations held in recent weeks. Flavia Stea Antonini, head of operations at the organisation’s head office, tells us more about HI’s response.

Reema: “I really hope I can go back to my village and see mum again”
© Elise Cartuyvels/HI

Reema: “I really hope I can go back to my village and see mum again”

Reema, 14, was abandoned at the age of six. Suffering from phocomelia – a congenital malformation – since birth, for many years she was unable to walk. With support from HI, she has been fitted with a prosthesis and benefits from rehabilitation care. Reema now goes to school. She wants to be a dancer and practices every morning.

Rehabilitation services urgently needed to avoid disability
© Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency/ AFP

Rehabilitation services urgently needed to avoid disability

Some 3,000 people were injured in demonstrations on the 14th and 15th May at the border between Gaza and Israel. Medical services in Gaza have been overwhelmed by the sudden arrival of large numbers of casualties. HI is ready to provide rehabilitation services to prevent patients from developing a permanent disability and to regain their mobility.