Skip to 0 minutes and 1 secondTo 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 secondsAn 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

Different technical support can be of major importance for making a person fit for work. Several types of handicaps may develop after accidents and injuries, both at work and other places. These handicaps may cause the need for prostheses, for instance. This type of help to the individual worker is important to make the worker able to do their job again - or to make the worker fit for working life for the first time.

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Bilde 282.jpg Work at an orthopedic work shop in Tanzania. © G.Van Den Bergh

Orthopedic work shops 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.

Bilde 269.jpg To make a good prosthesis, it is needed to adjust it so it fits perfectly with the limb it is attached to. © G.Van Den Bergh

Bilde 270.jpg Technical equipment must be tested out in a training situation. © G.Van Den Bergh

A wheel chair is another type of technical help which can be of major importance. The lady on the photo below had polio as a child, and with a wheel chair 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 total new life.

6034395451_8bea463207_zPakistan Surviving Childhood Polio.jpg A wheel chair makes the adult surviving polio mobile. © G.Van Den Bergh

Also, it must be remembered that in many low income countries, the health system has a general lack of resources. Even simple diagnoses, like myopia, can be the reason for disability of a potential good worker. Access to eye clinics and opticians are important. The correct glasses can make wonders! Similarly, hearing aids can change the life for persons with reduced hearing abilities.

An important part of the rehabilitation can also be physical training of the patient. A disability can be reduced by correct training, and in some cases complete function can be achieved. Many of the 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. In this video clip from the center you can see 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 fist prosthetic leg made. He praises the possibility to become independent, not needing help from his family. He illustrated how life can be improved by rehabilitation activites.

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This video is from the free online course:

Occupational Health in Developing Countries

University of Bergen