A Physical therapist on a motorcycle in the bush

A motorcycle with sturdy tires are a must when our Physical therapist needs to visit their patients in the villages without proper road infrastructure, located several miles away from the main roads.

TEXT AND PHOTO: MAGNE REIGSTAD

The physical therapist Emuro Lamech is getting ready for another day in the field. Its already 77 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade, but Adina safety rules state that all motorcyclists must wear a protective suit and helmet, so Emuro is strapping in. He is going to visit some of the villages where people still hold firm to the belief in witches and their powers. For many of the parents in these villages, witches are the only rational explanation for how their children can have been born handicapped, or suddenly gotten ill.

The trip is made on good, though sometimes dusty, roads.

Lamech fastens the mat he uses for his patients’ exercises onto the luggage rack, alongside other simple apparatuses – like a small, colorful abacus. Before him lies an hour-long drive through dense city traffic, before he hits the more rural and desolate areas.
Ready for a new trip into the bush.

One of the more important aspects of The Adina Foundation’s core philosophy, is to continue to closely follow up the treatments that happens in our centers when the patients are ready to return home. These home visits provide an opportunity to bond and create avenues of cooperation with the parents, in a calm and reassuring atmosphere. The exercises vital to recovery can then be adapted and modified to fit the family’s resources and habitation. The program has been so successful that people in the villages openly praise the level of commitment and skill shown by Adina’s employees. The contact our employees establish with the families have become our extended arm into the bush.

Lamech knows how important it is to follow up the treatments, started at our center in Lira, when the patients return home. If patients or their parents abandon the rehabilitation plans when they return home, the children can easily end up right back where they started. It is imperative to The Adina Foundations project to not only heal the afflicted children, but also affect change in the way that handicapped people are perceived and treated. This is an important part of the modernization of civilian Ugandan society.

Lamech’s trip is taken in the middle of the rainy season. Tropical downpour can have a severe effect on the roads he has to travel, but the patients from the Lira Rehabilitation Center will be followed up, no matter what. The motocross bicycle is therefore the ideal means of transportation in the bush. The physiotherapist twists and winds along the roads, elegantly traversing the ditches, along the remnants of a road before he disappears into a field of green with reeds on both sides that stretch a solid height of six or so feet.
Some of the villages have proper road infrastructure.

Back home again, the report is written up, perhaps on happy progress - or about disturbing deficiency observed in the continuation of treatments at home. The goal is always to be able to get the boy or girl to be able to stand on their own two feet again, but the way there can be cumbersome and challenging in more than one way.

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