Medicine & Healthcare, Physiotherapy in Nepal by Alice Judd
Bsc (hons) Physiotherapy
Alice worked in Nepal for one month using her knowledge of teaching to help local staff and patients in a rehabilitation centre. This is what she had to say about the project:
“It's really satisfying to see the children enjoying themselves. I have definitely got a lot of memories and experiences that I'm sure will stay with me.”
The Project Partner
Alice worked at an institution called the Patan Community Based Rehabilitation Centre. She spent the first two weeks alongside another qualified volunteer who had established a physiotherapy programme and schedule. This meant that Alice was able to bring continuity to the project. She also passed on her knowledge to another volunteer who arrived towards the end of her time in Nepal.
Together, the volunteers were able to support the work of a local physiotherapist. Unfortunately, he was only able to visit the centre for a couple of hours a week to treat patients. This meant that Alice’s work became even more important.
Role of the Volunteer
Alice's role at the rehabilitation centre included the following:
- Working with children suffering from Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome and Autism.
- Designing and implementing fun games and activities for the children.
- Holding small group physiotherapy sessions.
- Taking part in educational activities in the afternoons.
Benefits to the community
Alice was able to take part in important work and provide much needed treatment. The clear benefit to the community is that our volunteers are now continuing each other’s work in order to have a long-term impact. Children who otherwise would not receive treatment were able to benefit from Alice’s knowledge and hard work.
“The biggest difference between here and England is the condition of the centre. The children with disabilities attend a day centre, which is in the downstairs room at CBR. The room is small, has a mat in the centre and wooden box seats with tables around the room which most of the children sit in. There are two chairs used by two of the children who are more disabled and they were probably not specially designed for them like they would be in England.
The language barrier wasn't much of a problem as they can understand gestures, demonstrations and your tone of voice quite well. Similarly, they can communicate to you with facial expressions and you can tell when they are enjoying it or not.
I think it's best to be open-minded and try to see things from their point of view. Once I accepted that these were the conditions and I couldn't change that, it was easier for me to adapt and deal with the situation. You have to be ready to get stuck in and help with feeding, changing and toileting even if it isn't 'your job' as the Physiotherapist.”