Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the University of Bergen, Addis Ababa University & Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences's online course, Occupational Health in Developing Countries. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second To make a disabled person fit for work, orthopedic devices can be of great help. This workshop produces this kind of remedies, by use of plastics, as well as for instance metal and leather. A prosthesis can be made for a lacking leg, or for a missing arm. Today, sophisticated technology is present for use, which can make for instance a hand work in an artificial arm. The hand can be controlled by a button which the patient learns to use. Another type of rehabilitation support can be given by an orthosis. This is a technical device which can support a leg or arm. This can be relevant for a person who has experienced some kind of leg paralysis.

Skip to 0 minutes and 53 seconds An orthosis can make it possible for a person to be mobilized and be able to work despite their paralytic limbs.

Rehabilitation – focus on the worker

A prosthesis can be important for making a person fit for work. Countries with war victims and mine victims need this type of rehabilitation possibilities. Also, different types of accidents both at work and, for instance, in traffic may also have a need for prostheses.

Worker in orthopedic work shop

Worker in orthopedic work shop An orthopedic workshop in Sudan. © G.Van Den Bergh

Orthopedic workshops are important, as the technical aid they can give is of great importance for the function level of the individual worker with a physical handicap.

Woman gets proscetic limb adjusted in orthopedic work shop To make a good prosthesis, it must be possible to adjust it so it fits perfectly with the limb it is attached to. © G.Van Den Bergh

Girl walking with prostetic limb Technical equipment must be tested out in a training situation. © G.Van Den Bergh

A wheelchair is another type of technical help which can be of major importance. The lady on the photo below had polio as a child. With a wheelchair, she is able to get out of the bed and the house, and able to get around – and even come to work. The chair gives her a totally new life.

Woman sitting in a wheel chair A wheelchair makes the adult surviving polio mobile. © G.Van Den Bergh

Also, it must be remembered that in many low income countries, health systems generally lack resources. Even simple diagnoses, such as myopia, can be the reason for a potentially good worker’s disability . Access to eye clinics and opticians are important. The correct glasses can work wonders! Similarly, hearing aids can change the lives of persons with reduced hearing abilities.

An important part of the rehabilitation process can also be physical training of the patient. A disability can be reduced by correct training, and in some cases a complete return to full functioning can be achieved. Many existing rehabilitation clinics have a large focus upon physical training under proper guidance and help. In South Sudan, a Physical Rehabilitation Center has been established in Juba. Below you can see a video clip from the center and an interview with one of their patients, Nelson Nyumbe, who had his leg amputated in April 2015 following complications associated with diabetes. He is here waiting to have his first prosthetic leg made. He praises the possibility to become independent, not needing help from his family. Video clip

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Occupational Health in Developing Countries

University of Bergen