LDS Charities Providing Mobility to the Kenyan Disabled

LDS Charities Providing Mobility to the Kenyan Disabled

News Release

LDS Charities Providing Mobility to the Kenyan Disabled

 

For 1 percent of the world's population, mobility isn't as simple as putting one foot in front of the other. An estimated 45 million people need but don't have access to a wheelchair. LDS Charities is the humanitarian arm of The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints which is built on the principles of personal responsibility, community support, self-reliance, and sustainability. Its efforts are designed to give individuals and communities the tools they need to improve their own circumstances in permanent and meaningful ways. LDS Charities carries out community projects which include food, clean water, Emergency Response, Immunization, Maternal and newborn care, Vision care, Wheelchairs and others.

In its efforts to improve mobility, health, and the educational and economic opportunities for people with physical disabilities LDS Charities works with local organizations to donate tens of thousands of wheelchairs each year. In Kenya, it has partnered with three Health institutions that provide the right wheel chair prescription to people with need. These institutions are: Kenyatta National Hospital, AIC Cure Hospital in Kijabe and soon to be Murang’a County Hospital.

These institutions ensure that individuals with disability are examined and their needs established, then the right wheelchair that meets their needs prescribed. This is in a bid to ensure that the wheelchairs provided help improve their condition. Wheelchairs just given to the disabled without the proper medical examination by a physician lead to deterioration of health making their condition worse.

Instead of one standard wheelchair LDS Charities has come up with several different models of wheel chairs that can be adjusted to suit different needs. These Wheel chairs are suited for different body sizes, shapes and different environmental terrains where they’ll be used. Some are fitted with bikes in the front to help with faster movement.

Recently LDS Charities donated 300 wheelchairs to the Kenyatta National Hospital where disabled persons can get examination at a nominal fee and be given the right wheel chair. To facilitate this, LDS Charities in Kenya hosted a week’s training for Physicians and Clinicians from Kenyatta National Hospital and a few from Spinal Cord injury Hospital.

Elder and Sister Dow from California assisted by four other specialists from Salt Lake City, Utah where LDS Charities headquarters are located, helped train 9 Technicians and 13 clinicians. The Clinicians examine and diagnose someone’s condition and prescribe the right wheelchair, then the technicians assemble it.

Several persons with disability were invited during this training and were given the Wheelchairs according to their needs. Each wheelchair fitted perfectly.  Among them is Samuel Njuguna from Dagoreti-Nairobi who suffered a spinal Cord injury rendering his lower body paralyzed. Samuel is married with a family of four.  He runs a small beadwork shop to earn a living. ‘’The wheelchair is very comfortable. It is also easily folded when I have to catch a bus when I travel. It has made it easy for me to move from the house to my shop. I did not have to pay a penny to have it and I am so grateful to LDS charities for making this possible.’’ Samuel Says in part. Individuals who get these wheelchairs from medical institutions are encouraged to make regular visits for their progress to be monitored.

On the last day of the training, Elder Kevin S Hamilton, President of the Africa Southeast Area (ASEA) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and David Frischknecht, director of Temporal Affair ASEA, attended the wheel chair training project.

 After the 300 wheelchairs have all been given out, LDS Charities will evaluate the project and see the possibility of repeating the project in future. The Project is designed to transfer skills and ensure sustainability, so that the recipients and those supporting them can be self-reliant. This is a fundamental principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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