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Rehab engineers needed to help disabled Mexican children

  • Ian D Midgley
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If anyone is interested in using their skills to help children in Mexico, here is an opportunity. Sarah Davies is a trustee of a charity called MeDiCT, and has appealed to Remap to help her find rehab engineers who might be interested in getting involved. Sarah says:

“I founded and run a small UK based charitable trust, called MeDiCT (Mexican Disabled Children’sTrust). We support a large Charitable Institute in Mexico called Nuevo Amanecer, (New Dawn), where hundreds of disabled children are treated and educated. Mexico is a poor country and there is very little state help for disabled children. Our support takes the form of expert training for the therapists, teachers and other staff and provision of special wheelchairs and vital equipment which the children need to live as normal a life as possible. We also send out containers full of good used equipment for disabled children, such as wheelchairs, special seating, standing frames, walking aids, lying supports.

I became involved because my husband’s job took us in 1999, to Monterrey, a large industrial city in the North of Mexico, where I worked on an unpaid basis in The Instituto Nuevo Amanecer. (INA) I am an OT and had specialised in postural management and special seating. By the time we left Mexico two years later, the Institute was making its own moulded and modular seats and standing frames and providing 24 hour postural management for children.

Whilst there are excellent doctors in Mexico, the training for physios and OT’s is not as we know it in this country, and there is no training at all for rehabilitation engineers or speech and language therapists. I therefore founded the charity to help to improve other areas of treatment for these children. The charity MeDiCT has concentrated on helping the INA  to improve training for staff, therapists, teaching staff, doctors and others. Now, we are very much trying to help them to improve the availability of assistive technology for the children and young people in their care, and are looking for rehabilitation engineers, particularly in the field of paediatrics.

Many of the staff from the Institute have been here to the UK to learn and train and many experts from here have been out to visit the Institute to teach them, do training courses and work alongside the staff teaching and advising. One of the best things about the work we do is that the Institute goes out to other clinics and Institutions in Mexico to share the knowledge we have helped them with and always invite staff from other clinics to participate in training courses.

We have been fortunate in finding many people who are around retirement age and have a wealth of knowledge and experience and are motivated by the opportunity to go to another country to share their expertise and are willing to go as volunteers. The INA is a fantastic place and is totally unrecognisable now in comparison to what it was like in 1999 when I first went there. They now lead the country in special seating, manufacturing their own seating, standing frames and lying supports. Most of their therapists are Bobath-trained by top people from the London Bobath centre, and they are pioneering speech and language therapy and communication because of the training we have managed to help them with. They are making huge steps forward in provision of special education. MeDiCT helps the INA by finding the funding for experts to go out there, or for their staff to come here for training, finding appropriate places to train as well as accommodation, with families, so the cost is kept to a minimum.

I am looking for rehabilitation engineers who may be interested in getting involved with this work and going out to Mexico to help. I am happy to meet anyone interested or chat over the phone and give them more information.”

Contact:

Sarah Davies, MeDiCT Trustee

www.medict.co.uk

tel: 0207 704 98 94

mob: 07762 20 10 68

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