On October 23, the new U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Michele Sison, visited Handicap International's rehabilitation project for people with disabilities at the Batticaloa Teaching Hospital.
Ambassador Sison distributed crutches to patients and toured the facilities at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Physical Rehabilitation Center in Batticaloa.
Thanks to $2 million in USAID funding, Handicap International is able to provide physical rehabilitation to more than 8,000 people with disabilities over a two-year period. “Quality physical rehabilitation services are a vital precondition if people with disabilities are to enjoy full and equal rights as citizens,” said Ambassador Sison. “The U.S. government is committed to improving the lives of people with disabilities in Sri Lanka and their families.”
When Sri Lanka's longstanding internal conflict ended, the need for physical rehabilitation services escalated. So far this year, the rehabilitation center has assisted 1,293 adults and 459 children with disabilities, providing them with prosthetic limbs, mobility and adaptive devices, and physical therapy.
In addition to the activities at the center, Handicap International also collaborates with health centers in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu in Sri Lanka's Northern Province, and the Lady Ridgeway Children's Hospital in Colombo to provide people with disabilities with prosthetic and orthotic services. The staff within the established clinics benefit from extensive training, ensuring they are able to integrate prosthetic and orthotic services into Sri Lanka's public health system well into the future.
Read this Huffington Post blog about our sports inclusion project in Vavuniya!