Damodar Thapa

And now for something completely different — a gentleman from Nepal here to talk about rehab at the center he runs.

Marilyn is introducing him . . . she got an email in 2011 from a PT in Nepal, who wanted to know about coming to the conference.  He was very determined!  Got a visa, flew halfway around the world, knew nobody, and ended up captivating a lot of attendees.  So this year, he’s going to present — going to talk about how PT works at an SCI center in Nepal.

Overview: Where’s Nepal?  Most common injury? Rehab process? Barriers to getting max function?

Nepal is between China and India, has 27 million people, mostly hilly, known for being home of Mt Everest, the highest peak in the world.

Most common cause of injury is falling, which accounts for more than half the injuries . . . mostly people in the countryside climbing trees, which they must do every day to harvest honey.  They also carry very heavy loads on their heads, and neck injuries are common.

Rehab goes like this . . . Med team very similar to USA . . . but only 250  to 300 out of every 1000 get that treatment. The quads who get it stay 4 to 6 months . . . oy, showing a picture of a very nasty pressure sore.

Images of people using walkers, which he calls “gait-training” — these are the success stories. 😦

Barriers to better outcomes: economic status, insufficient government support and/or insurance policies, no wheelchairs appropriate for quads, environmental problems, no family support, no hospitals near, and very few rehab specialists.

Yikes, this is making me sad.  Showing a picture of what a normal home looks like.  “Not accessible” would be a massive understatement.  Same with the environment . . . people work in fields and get water from wells.  It would be like always being at a rustic camp in your chair.

They have an action plan to overcome some of this, including an awareness program, the establishment of a satellite centrer, more advocacy . . .

That was just a quick look into this scene.  Moving forward to more science now.

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