Livability welcomed the The Right Honourable President Bidhya Bhandari of Nepal to inaugurate the 14th Asian Spinal Cord Network (ASCoN) Conference in Nepal held on International Day of Persons with Disability.
Co-hosted by Livability, the conference draws health experts and community workers from across Asia to discuss the needs of Spinal Cord Injury management and this year will focus on responding to need in the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake.
In her address, the President spoke of the importance of sharing experiences for the better care of the survivors of spinally injury in developing countries.
Referring to the need to rehabilitate those with spinal injury as a result of the earthquakes the President lamented that the task of reconstruction and new construction has not moved ahead ‘quickly and continuously’. She suggested that the conference provide the Government of Nepal with written recommendations to make spinal injury response more qualitative and inclusive.
Stephen Muldoon, Assistant Director of International Complex Care Development, Livability said: ‘Responding to spinal injury in countries hit by disaster and where healthcare infrastructure can be limited is so essential. This conference brings together healthcare and rehabilitation professionals from across Asia and it’s a vital time to strategize together for how we can provide Nepal’s healthcare and rehabilitation services with the most up-to-date knowledge and skills on SCI management and other disabilities.’
In April 2015, Nepal was hit by an earthquake that caused mass devastation. Over 8,000 people were killed and thousands injured. Of the many injuries caused by the earthquake, spinal cord injury affected around 300 people and left them in need of essential recovery and rehabilitation support.
As a disability and community engagement charity, Livability has an international team with great expertise in spinal cord injury rehabilitation. As soon as the earthquake hit, Livability’s international team travelled to the country to provide vital support to Nepal’s Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) near Kathmandu and Livability ran an emergency fundraising appeal to respond to the needs.
Now, 6 months on from the Nepal earthquake, there is an even greater need to increase quality and national coverage of spinal injury and rehabilitation services and develop human resources to deliver them.
David Webber, CEO said:’ Thanks to the rehabilitation and community engagement expertise of our international team, we have been able to work with our partner SIRC and see many people get their lives back on track and reintegrated to their community.’
Find out more about the work of Livability International here.