LDS Charities Wheelchair Initiative in Togo

LDS Charities Wheelchair Initiative in Togo

News Release

Wheelchairs and training for Togo

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provided specialized wheelchair training at the Centre National d’Appareillage Orthpedique (CNAO) in Lome, Togo, from May 8-12, 2017. CNAO is the National Center of Orthotics and Rehabilitation for the country. Togo is one of several French-speaking countries in the subcontinent of West Africa.

Since 2013, the Church has donated 1,400 wheelchairs to those in need from Togo. Donations are facilitated by LDS Charities, the humanitarian arm of the Church. They partner with organizations, such as CNAO, to identify recipients who need wheelchairs and also provide training to ensure wheelchairs are properly fitted according to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.

 

Clinicians and technicians from Togo were sent to the weeklong training from CNAO, ENAM (Ecole Nationale d’ Auxiliaires Medicaux), an auxiliary healthcare school, and APHAK (Association d’ Personnes Handicappees de la Kozah), the Association of People with Disabilities in Kozah. Those attending the training will service the entire country.

Clinicians were trained to assess the type of wheelchair to best suit a specific person, including where and how it will be used, the living and working conditions of the individual and the type of specific disability involved.

Wheelchair technicians were given the skills needed to assemble an individual chair based on specifications provided from the assessment of the clinician.  

Jeremie Gaillard, LDS Charities Wheelchair initiative specialist said, “After the training, we will be gone. Clinicians and technicians will not call and ask us what to do. We are providing them with the knowledge, skills and ability to make correct decisions when they see patients.”

Komlan Eden Amou has been working with patient with mobility issues for 10 years. In that time, he had never attended training to custom fit a wheelchair. “I am so thankful for this training,” he said. “I can do it. I have the skills to help someone so they can go back to a profession, to live a normal life like everybody.”

Amadou Djalilou, a clinician working with amputees and those with varying degrees of paralysis, said, “It is more than a joyful feeling to help someone be able to provide for his family.  I am filled with happiness when I see the blessing a wheelchair brings to them.”

After receiving an LDS Charities wheelchair, individuals are also trained to use and take care of them. LDS Charities ensures that the wheelchairs will offer effective, long-term mobility by providing training and tools for repair and maintenance.

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