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UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia visits spinal injury unit

© UNICEF/PAKA0011/Zaidi
UNICEF Regional Director (ROSA), Cecilia Lotse talking to a patient at the spinal injury unit at NIHD

Islamabad, September 21: UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia, Ms. Cecilia lotse accompanied by the UNICEF Representative in Pakistan, Mr. Thomas McDermott visited the Spinal Injury Unit (SIU) at the National Institute for Handicapped in Islamabad and met with children and women being treated here for spinal injuries received during the October 8 earthquake.

Ms. Lotse interacted with the patients and expressed her deep satisfaction on their recovery. She received a detailed briefing from the Executive Director of the Institute, Dr. Aurakzai regarding the nature of injuries that are treated at SIU and the rehabilitation process of the injured. She assure SIU of UNICEF's continues support in future.

As a consequence of the October 8th earthquake, nearly 73,000 people were killed, while an additional 70,000 were seriously injured.

Around 740 spinal injury patients were treated in hospitals in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, although high-quality comprehensive services were not available to these patients.

UNICEF, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, decided to establish a high-quality 100-bed facility on the grounds of the National Institute for the Handicapped, providing services to women and children who had suffered spinal injuries. Patients were moved into the Spinal Injury Unit four months after the October 2005 earthquake. 

Since its inception,128 women and girls have been treated at the SIU. Currently  75 women and girls are receiving treatment here. 

The Spinal Injury Unit is providing medical care, physical rehabilitation, physiotherapy, vocational skills training, and education for children staying at the Unit with their mothers

Vocational skills being taught at the Unit include stitching, embroidery, computer use, and running a home from a wheelchair



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