The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) provides physical rehabilitation services since before 1979. However, that year the Department of Physical Rehabilitation was created, a milestone that marked the beginning of the serious institutional commitment in this area. In line with one of its aspects, the ICRC supports the physical rehabilitation of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence through specific programs and the ICRC's MoveAbility Foundation. The variety of physical rehabilitation activities that the ICRC provides worldwide has grown since 1979. These services are no longer limited exclusively to emergency interventions: many people who require these services will need them for life.
Physical rehabilitation includes the provision of mobility devices (prostheses, orthoses, walking aids and wheelchairs), in addition to physical therapy and other services. It is also a means that allows people with physical disabilities to be integrated into families and communities, as well as schools and workplaces. ICRC assistance plays an essential role in achieving the ultimate purpose of rehabilitation: the full integration of the person in society, whatever the cause that caused his disability. The restoration of mobility is also the first step to enjoy fundamental rights, such as access to food, shelter, education, work, equal opportunities and citizenship.
People with physical disabilities who are affected by armed conflicts and other situations of violence have access to high quality physical rehabilitation services, which leads to improved health and well being and the ability to reach their full potential in society .
Support a multidisciplinary approach to physical rehabilitation focused on the system and people, which guarantees sustainable, high quality services and equitable access, as well as the integration into society of people with physical disabilities.
GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR THE PHYSICAL REHABILITATION PROGRAM: THE FOUR PILLARS
The Physical Rehabilitation Program aims at an approach based on two lines of action that combines a people centered approach and a system centered approach, which allows it to assist both national systems and users of its services. Its four pillars (access, quality, long term sustainability and social integration) are interdependent and interrelated.
The ICRC takes measures to make physical rehabilitation services equally accessible to all who need them. These include the identification of particularly vulnerable groups and the work to eliminate barriers (related to geography, religion, wealth, ethnicity, gender and age, among others) that hinder access to services.
The ICRC aims to maintain the quality of its services through the application of internationally accepted best practices. We promote a multidisciplinary approach to physical rehabilitation and other services, and we strive to ensure that personnel are competent and that mobility technology is kept up to date and relevant. We also strive to evaluate as accurately as possible all the needs of people, in close collaboration with those affected, as well as to generate and maintain professional skills through training, in order to provide the highest quality of care.
In order to promote the long term sustainability of projects that have their assistance, the ICRC whenever possible implements them together with local partners since the beginning of the assistance period and strives to develop the capacities of its partners (technical skills, service and personnel management and financing mechanisms). Long term sustainability also includes promoting physical rehabilitation and social protection, leadership and governance policies. The long term approach not only considers the principle of residual responsibility towards one of the ICRC target populations, but also reduces the risk of loss of investment in materials and human capital.
One of our goals is the full social inclusion of people with disabilities. To this end, we promote activities and programs that allow their educational and professional development. The initiatives include sports activities, academic scholarships and home schooling, as well as microfinance and job creation programs.
Source: International Committee of the Red Cross