The Rehab Centre sees children with conditions like cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, spina bifida, hydrocephalus and other neuro developmental conditions. In the 2014 census there were 5367 children with disabilities in the district of Kisoro with just one special school and no paediatric therapy available. Jenny Green’s original vision included some provision for disabled children at Potter’s Village.
Children and their parents attend the centre monthly in a group with other children from their area. Initially they have a therapy assessment, and any treatment given. Parents are taught an individual exercise programme to do at home and a feeding assessment is done if indicated. There is a group time of songs and games teaching parents about the importance of stimulating play. If a child requires the help of a special chair, standing frame or walker; measurements are taken and the equipment is made by a local carpenter at a later date.
In the afternoon a module of the ABANA parent training programme is taught. The training programme seeks to empower parents to help their children and has been produced by the International Centre for Evidence in Disability at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. It consists of 11 modules teaching parents how to assess their child, manage feeding problems, positioning, communication, play, make simple aids like chairs, and encourages the formation of a parent support group. Also, each family is offered a home visit to see the child in their home environment and together with their family, to problem solve difficulties that they experience.
The Rehab Centre is staffed by one volunteer paediatric physiotherapist who is training a nurse and nursing assistant from the medical centre in basic paediatric therapy so that they can eventually run the programme. There remains a lot of superstition and stigma regarding disability in this part of Uganda and the Rehab team hope in the future to be able to do awareness raising activities in schools, communities and churches to address this need.
The Rehab Centre is a happy place and we seek to provide high quality care in a haven of loving acceptance, understanding and an appreciation of the worth of each individual child made in God’s image. We work to enable everyone to reach their full potential physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and to actively participate and contribute into the life of their community.