Helping burn rehabilitation specialists in India 8
Sunshine Foundation initiated a three-year cooperation project in 2013 in Chennai, India to help a local organization set up a Care Center for women burn survivors. By training their staff in Chennai and holding internships for them in Taiwan, we are helping this local organization address an unmet need: provide comprehensive physical and psychosocial rehabilitation services for women burn survivors after hospital discharge.
From November 23 to December 5, 2015, the Sunshine team visited its partner in Chennai, the International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care (PCVC), to assess the impact of the professional training and technical support given in 2015. During this two-week visit, Karen HSIAO, Supervisor and Head of the Rehabilitation Team of Sunshine’s Taipei Rehabilitation Center, spent time with PCVC’s therapist to specifically work on improving hand rehabilitation skills.
For a burn survivor, regaining the use of hands is about regaining the ability to live independently and not have to rely on anyone to eat, shower, work, etc. During this site visit, Sunshine saw quite a few cases of burned hands which, if left unaddressed, would severely compromise the ability of these women burn survivors to care for one’s children and return to their normal life. That is why Karen particularly focused on helping PCVC’s physiotherapist Suba get a better handle on hand rehabilitation.
During two weeks, Karen worked with Suba, explaining how to examine hand functions, recommending appropriate exercises, but most importantly, teaching how to make splints, which can help prevent or correct deformities. This was the first time that Suba made splints, starting with a simple finger gutter, and moving on to more complex splint models. Although she found it difficult at first, Suba is confident that with practice, she will be able to improve her splint-making skills.
One of the women for which splints were made is S.* Due to a severe burn, she is totally unbale to use her left hand. After demonstrating how to gently massage the hand and do stretch exercises, as well as carry out desensitization exercises to reduce hypersensitivity of the hand, Karen also recommended a splint regimen for S which included wearing a finger gutter to maintain fingers in the correct position and using a dynamic splint to achieve joint flexion. Karen then proceeded to demonstrate the fabrication process to Suba, allowing her to practice at the same time. S was very happy to receive her splints, which bring her closer to regaining hand function, and Suba was quite please with her first splint-making attempt.
Combined with the right knowledge, application of these simple rehabilitation techniques can make a huge difference in these women's lives: the difference between being dependent on others for every aspect of their daily living, or being able to totally rely on oneself and live a normal life. Every time you support our project on GlobalGiving, you bring women burn survivors closer to fulfilling their rehabilitation goals!
* Name witheld to preserve identity of client.
Explaining how to correct deformity
Learning how to draw a splint pattern
Practicing making splints
The final product