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Surviving spinal cord injury in low income countries

ODEROD, Tone
August 2014

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Life expectancy and the situation of persons living with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) in low income settings was explored. Mortality rates from injuries and challenges in daily lives of people with injuries from poorer economic backgrounds are were investigated and are compared with those with higher incomes. Literature studies and qualitative methods were used. Qualitative data was collected through semi-structured interviews with 23 informants from four study sites in Zimbabwe representing persons with SCI, their relatives and rehabilitation professionals.

There are few publications available about life expectancy and the daily life of persons with SCI in low income countries. Those few publications identified and the study findings confirm that individuals with SCI are experiencing a high occurrence of pressure sores and urinary tract infections leading to unnecessary suffering, often causing premature death. Pain and depression are frequently reported and stigma and negative attitudes are experienced in society. Lack of appropriate wheelchairs and services, limited knowledge about SCI amongst health care staff, limited access to health care and rehabilitation services, loss of employment and lack of financial resources worsen the daily challenges.

Conclusion: The study indicates that life expectancy for individuals with SCI in low income settings is shorter than for the average population and also with respect to individuals with SCI in high income countries. Poverty worsened the situation for individuals with SCI, creating barriers that increase the risk of contracting harmful pressure sores and infections leading to premature death. Further explorations on mortality and how individuals with SCI and their families in low income settings are coping in their daily life are required to provide comprehensive evidences.

PLACE in Zimbabwe : identifying gaps in HIV prevention among orphans and young people in Hwange District, 2006

SINGH, Kavita
et al
April 2008

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The Priorities for Local AIDS Control Efforts (PLACE) method is a tool to identify areas where HIV transmission is most likely to occur, and within these areas, to identify gaps in prevention programmes. In Zimbabwe, the PLACE method was used to understand what risk factors are putting adolescent girls (orphans and non-orphans) and young women 18-24 years of age at risk of acquiring HIV. Because there is an indication that men may sexually abuse adolescent girls in their homes and because it was believed that some adolescent girls may not frequent public places, a household survey was added to the PLACE method

Disability and HIV & AIDS : a participatory rapid assessment of the vulnerability, impact and coping mechanisms of the disabled people on HIV/AIDS

NGANZI, Patrick
MATONHODZE, George
2004

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This study assesses the vulnerability, impact and coping mechanisms of disabled people on HIV and AIDS, and suggests strategies for developing an HIV and AIDS programme for disabled people’s organisations. Using participatory methodologies of inquiry, the study found that disabled people perceive themselves to be at higher risk of HIV infection due to their disability, regardless of their awareness levels. Their social exclusion from the mainstream HIV/AIDS services makes the situation worse. The study revealed that the many myths and misconceptions around HIV and disability increase the vulnerability of disabled people to HIV/AIDS, such as the belief that sex with a disabled person cleanses a person of HIV/AIDS. It also revealed that disabled people have limited access to HIV/AIDS information and limited use of HIV/AIDS services mainly because of the nature of their disability, the location of the facilities and the attitudes of service providers. In conclusion, the study revealed that disabled people are at a higher risk of infection by sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS due to their exclusion from mainstream HIV interventions. This situation is further exacerbated by the lack of policy framework on disability and HIV and AIDS

Improving communication [whole issue]

HEALTHLINK WORLDWIDE
2002

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This issue of Disability Dialogue focuses on increasing the awareness of, and improving approaches to people with communication disabilities. It includes articles on approaches to communication; listening and learning; involving the community; working for integration; sharing skills; and helping adults after a stroke

Children with hydrocephalus and spina bifida in East Africa : can family and community resources improve the odds?

MILES, M
2002

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Hydrocephalus and spina bifida are life threatening conditions that often result in severe dsabilities. Risks are much reduced by immediate surgery and careful managment, but neither has been available for most of the sub-Saharan African population. This paper traces the growth of solutions and some socio-cultural resources that historically have supported family and community care for children with severe disabilities, mainly in Tanzania, and nearby countries. Some community-based rehabilitation (CBR) work with children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus is described, and challenges to the CBR approach are noted from the increased survival of people with disabilities requiring complex care. More appropriate information, recognition of indigenous knowledge, enlistment of community resources and financial assistance are needed to enhance the lives of East Africans with hydrocephalus, spina bifida and other severely disabling conditions

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