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Posted by Elizabeth Johnson Sellers · September 16, 2022 10:00 AM
Humanity & Inclusion provides 2,000 emergency supply kits to the families affected by flooding in Pakistan.Read more
Jean Mario Joseph was seriously injured in the earthquake that struck Haiti in August 2021, requiring his right leg to be amputated. Today, he receives physical rehabilitation and psychosocial support from Humanity & Inclusion.Read more
Gaëlle Smith, Humanity & Inclusion’s emergency rehabilitation specialist, was deployed to Ukraine to support the local teams. She shares her experience treating patients at a hospital in Dnipro.Read more
Humanity & Inclusion's teams are delivering food, cookware, blankets, soap and other emergency supplies to 600 families in two regions affected by catastrophic flooding in Pakistan.Read more
Humanity & Inclusion’s teams are preparing kits containing emergency supplies and basic necessities to disperse to 600 families displaced by catastrophic floods in Pakistan.Read more
Like many Ukrainians, Nadezhda lives with compromised health conditions. After the war worsened her symptoms and displaced her from home, Humanity & Inclusion’s rehabilitation specialists helped relieve pain and restore her energy.Read more
Pakistan is experiencing its worst flooding in over a decade. With more than 6.4 million people in need of humanitarian aid, Humanity & Inclusion prepares emergency kits to support families in need.Read more
Virginie Duclos, 32, provides insight into her work as a rehabilitation project manager for Humanity & Inclusion’s emergency team. She has responded to a number of emergencies, including the earthquake in Haiti in 2021 and war in Ukraine in 2022.
Q: What is your job?
I am not based in any particular country, but I go wherever I am needed for emergencies. When there is a crisis or an emergency, I go to the country. I do what is called a "needs assessment,” seeing the number of people injured, the number of people with disabilities, the number of vulnerable people, which needs are covered or not covered by national organizations or international NGOs. Based on that, we see how we can articulate our response with what exists and what the needs are, and then implement it. Then, we recruit the necessary personnel and train them.
Q: Why did you choose to join Humanity & Inclusion?
I joined Humanity & Inclusion for two reasons. The first was for personal reasons. It was an opportunity for an interesting position, which allowed me to develop my skills. And the second was to join an NGO that shared the values I hold dear, especially that of reaching the most vulnerable populations in the rehabilitation sector.
Q: What impact does your job have?
When there is a crisis, there may be either a sudden increase in the number of injured people or an increase in the needs of people who were already in a situation of disability. The local structures—the hospitals, the public authorities—may not have the capacity to respond. Therefore, the goal is to help them, to support them, to set up new projects or to help them in their own projects to meet this need.
It has been proven for many years now that the earlier you start rehabilitation after an event that can change someone's life, the less likely it is that a disability will develop in the long run. So, it's really important to start as early as possible at the time of the crisis to avoid the development of disabilities.
Mohammad Rasool manages Humanity & Inclusion’s programs in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He provides insight into the country’s dire humanitarian situation, one year after the Taliban seized power.
Since the Taliban took control of the Afghan government in August 2021, the humanitarian context has deteriorated significantly. Facing an economic collapse, devastating drought and consequences of war, people find it difficult to simply survive.
Q: What is the humanitarian situation in Kandahar today?
The humanitarian context is still complex. There has been no improvement in food insecurity and unemployment and poverty are widespread. The financial system is not fully functional, with businesses unable to access their funds in the banks, for example. Inflation, drought and recent flooding in some districts have exacerbated the situation.
Humanitarian needs are huge and have not been fully met by the assistance that the international community pledged in August 2021. As for mine action programs, funding has been cut, which is increasing the exposure and vulnerability of communities living in areas contaminated with mines and other explosive remnants of war.
Q: What is daily life like in Kandahar?
People are extremely anxious about their future. The daily life of women and girls has been very seriously affected. For almost a year now, girls have not been allowed to go to school beyond 7th grade. Thousands of girls and women are very concerned about their education and future.
Q: Is Humanity & Inclusion still able to work with and for women?
Our female staff have been able to continue working in the provincial capital and six districts of Kandahar province. The credit for this goes to our committed field staff for their active engagement with community elders and local representatives, and to the authorities for facilitating access to our life-saving activities in conflict-affected and underserved areas.
Q: What services does the Humanity & Inclusion team offer?
Humanity & Inclusion provides rehabilitation care, as the country’s health system is unable to meet the demand. Given the scarcity of physical therapy services, we have developed a 3-year training curriculum and are currently training some 120 future physical therapists. We also provide psychosocial support to many people suffering from stress and anxiety, as there are very few mental health services in the country. And we conduct risk education sessions, as the presence of mines and explosive remnants of war remain a daily threat to the population.
Lastly, Humanity & Inclusion teams in Kunduz and Herat have started distributing cash assistance to support families with the lowest income. Between six and nine allowances of $200 are being paid to 1,600 households to enable them to buy food and access basic services such as healthcare.
Q: What kinds of people do you see at the rehabilitation center?
We had more than 700 cases in June. Most of the disabilities are congenital or due to birth defects or road or domestic accidents. Fifty cases were due to injuries caused by armed violence.
Fortunately, we are not seeing any new cases of war victims. There has also been a reduction in the number of new victims of mine or explosive remnants of war accidents. This is largely due to Humanity & Inclusion’s mine risk educators who raise the awareness of thousands of children and adults in at-risk areas each month.
Rehabilitation needs in general are still huge. People come to the center every day, some of them from very far away. There are only two rehabilitation centers serving the south of the country, so for some families the journey to the center can take a whole day. Since August 2021, we have seen a significant increase in patient numbers. Now that the fighting, the roadblocks and the strict security measures have ended, more people are able to get to us. We are currently seeing more than 130 people a week at the Kandahar center.
Q: How clear is the link between disability and explosive devices in Afghanistan?
Based on the data from our center, the majority of people with acquired disabilities are victims of explosive devices, landmines and other remnants of war. In Afghanistan, disability prevalence is very high; 80% of the adult population has some form of disability due to mines and explosive remnants of war, armed conflicts or limited access to health and nutrition services.
Q: How have the activities at the center been expanded?
Last June, Humanity & Inclusion opened a Step-Down Unit at the Kandahar rehabilitation center. This unit is designed to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted transition from acute trauma care to comprehensive rehabilitation services for patients with complex injuries and a high risk of complications and permanent disability. It also provides healthcare services for musculoskeletal and neurological sub-acute conditions that require comprehensive early rehabilitation care.
The unit adopts an interdisciplinary approach (health, rehabilitation and psychosocial support services) during the early comprehensive rehabilitation phase. It also ensures the provision of psychosocial support for patients and relief for caregivers, and accompanies the recovery process through further follow-up at the rehabilitation center, outpatient care and community inclusion.
Humanity & Inclusion’s team of doctors and nurses provides a 24/7 service at the Step-Down Unit. Between June 6 and July 26 alone, they admitted and treated 56 patients: 28 men, 16 women, six boys and six girls.