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Living with a disability himself, Deriaz helps others access vital services

A valuable member of Humanity & Inclusion’s team in Madagascar, Deriaz ensures that rehabilitation patients get the support they need.

In Tuléar, Humanity & Inclusion partners with the center for rehabilitation and prosthetic fitting at the regional hospital. Trained community agents identify individuals who could benefit from rehabilitation services, stimulation therapy and artificial limbs., then Humanity & Inclusion links them to the appropriate services, covers associated costs, organizes logistics and follows their progress.

Q: What is your role?

My name is Deriaz Christian, and I work for the Improved Continuum of Inclusive Maternal and Child Health Care and Rehabilitation project in the southwest region of Madagascar. I have been working with Humanity & Inclusion for almost three years now.

When people come to the rehabilitation center, I support them throughout the process. My role is to accompany, supervise and organize their visits. I reserve and cover the finances of their cabs and buses to travel to the center, and I book their accommodation here. I also manage the payments that cover their food costs while they are here receiving services. We oversee the whole process to make sure everyone can access rehabilitation services.

Sometimes the coordination is complicated, because there are different kinds of patients for different services, and sometimes many people come at the same time, so it’s important to know everyone well and to be organized. 

Q: What do you like most about your work?

I love everything about my work! I love taking care of the people we serve because I get to have a relationship with everyone.

In my previous job, I worked with vulnerable populations, too. But here at Humanity & Inclusion, I get to work with people living in vulnerable circumstances and people who have disabilities. As someone with a disability myself, I want to help people in similar situations. (Complications from polio led to a disability that affects Deriaz’s leg.)

The patients that have had the biggest impact on me are people with total paralysis, in both their lower limbs and upper limbs. We see just how far society still has to go to be accessible for these individuals.

Q: Any final thoughts?

My message is to raise awareness in everyone, especially in people with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities. They should not hide. Instead, bring children with disabilities and people with disabilities here to the center for rehabilitation and prosthetic services that so they can be taken care of.