A young girl named Sreyoun who has congenital cerebral palsy attends a rehabilitation session in Cambodia

Despite COVID-19, Sreyoun continues physical therapy

The COVID-19 crisis hasn’t stopped Sreyoun’s mother and the Humanity & Inclusion team from finding ways to help the young girl thrive.

Since she was 14 months old, Sreyoun has received physical therapy three times a week from the Humanity & Inclusion team in Kampong Cham, Cambodia. But when the Covid-19 pandemic struck and Humanity & Inclusion’s rehabilitation center temporarily closed, Sreyoun’s mother worried that her daughter, who was born with cerebral palsy, might not get the care she desperately needs.

With the help of her mother, Sreyoun, now 3, continued to practice the exercises taught by Humanity & Inclusion’s physical therapists every day at home.

A young girl sits on her mother's lap. The mother, wearing a mask, stares down at her daughter.

Meanwhile, Humanity & Inclusion’s management team was closely monitoring the Covid-19 crisis and government recommendations.

By April 2020, Humanity & Inclusion had rapidly developed different ways of working in order to keep staff and patients safe and healthy. Humanity & Inclusion began offering tele-rehabilitation sessions, which made it possible to monitor and coach patients, like Sreyoun, remotely. As part of the virtual physical therapy sessions, Humanity & Inclusion’s team also shared inclusive information about Covid-19 prevention to help people with disabilities and their families protect themselves from the virus.

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By June 2020, Sreyoun was able to return to the rehabilitation center. In keeping with Covid-19 prevention measures by limiting direct contact, Sreyoun’s physical therapist, Khim Phirum, uses a doll to demonstrate exercises that her mother can help her with at home.

"My daughter is getting better and better,” says Sreyoun’s mother. “She can move her arms, hold objects, sit, and stand with support. I continue practicing physical therapy exercises with my daughter at home. I really hope she will stand independently soon."

Today, activity at the rehabilitation center has almost returned to normal, while taking preventive measures to avoid spreading Covid-19. Despite the challenge presented by the pandemic, the number of consultations, fittings for accessibility tools like braces and prosthetics, and rehabilitation sessions is likely to match 2019’s total of more than 2,500. And little Sreyoun continues to make great progress! 

Become a monthly donorHeader image: A young girl named Sreyoun sits in her mother's lap during a rehabilitation session in Cambodia. Her physical therapist is demonstrating physical therapy exercises using a doll. They are all wearing masks. Copyright: HI
Inline image: A young girl named Sreyoun is held by her mother at a Humanity & Inclusion rehabilitation center in Cambodia. They are both wearing masks. Copyright: HI