The Hayatabad Paraplegic Centre is planning to extend its post-operative care programme to the entire province.
The centre is the only institute in Pakistan that provides medical and surgical nursing care along with physical, vocational and psycho-social rehabilitation services to patients with spinal injuries. The post-operative treatment is given until six months after surgery.
The follow-up programme, which is currently being run by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), exists in Peshawar, Charsadda, Mardan, Swabi and Nowshera. Doctors visit patients at home, follow-up on treatment and educate family members about how to take care of patients.
“A graduate physiotherapist and a nurse visit patients at their house once a month, until six month after the surgery,” said the chief executive of the centre, Syed Muhammad Ilyas, while talking to The Express Tribune.
Patients are also allotted a limited amount of money to resolve any problems they might face after being discharged.
“We have proposed that Rs20 million be allotted to the centre to extend the programme to the whole province,” he said, adding that the provincial government seems willing to do provide the funds.
The special secretary for health, Dr Noorul Iman, said the issue was discussed in a board of governors meeting last month, which agreed to extend the programme in all districts. The exact date of extension, however, could not be determined.
The paraplegic centre was established by the ICRC in 1984 and is being run by the provincial government since 1996. It currently has 72 beds for patients and an annual budget of Rs20 million. The budget was doubled this year.
Spinal injuries can partially or completely paralyse a person’s lower body. The injured can experience bladder and bowel problems as a result, and it could take up to six months for rehabilitation, Ilyas said.
During the treatment, patients are given vocational training so that they can earn money after being discharged. This helps them contribute to their household expenditure, Ilyas said.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 17th, 2012.
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