ISCoS Podcast: What Really Matters,
SCI Care Podcasts 5 and 6
The challenges in comprehensive management of Persons with SCI
PART 1 Asia (ASCoN) and Middle East North Africa (MENA)
In the first of two podcasts looking at global approaches to the challenges for comprehensive management of persons with SCI; the SCI network regions of Asia (ASCoN) and Middle East North Africa (MENA) are in the spotlight.
Dr Nazirah Hasnan, Stephen Muldoon, and Dr Rami Al Ahmar join ISCOS President Dr Chhabra. They discuss socio-cultural, geographic, educational, economic and governmental/legislative factors that impact people with SCI in these regions—for the better and the worse, their inclusion within their communities and their ability to make a return to the near normal life that is possible after SCI.
Stephen notes that Nepal’s main rehabilitation centre has a saying “The poorer you are, the harder you fall’ in recognition that SCI disproportionately affects the poor—people most susceptible to SCI injury and its effects. He highlights how crucial it is to make a purposeful space for SCI management and rehabilitation through government policy and legislation and international collaborations such as the WHO, Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.
PART 2 Latin America and Africa
In podcast 6, attention turns to the experiences of those in Latin America and Africa. Dr Federico Montero, of the Latin American Society of Paraplegia (SLAP) Ms. Elma Burger, of Africa Spinal Cord Network (AFSCIN) are the guests.
Again, the gap between rich and poor is at the forefront of this panel’s consideration.
Sociocultural differences such as religious practices; communication, transportation and accessibility of infrastructure, discrepancies in relation to insurance and funding between small nations; referral to and coordination of rehabilitation services; poor data collection and SCI knowledge of health professionals are further factors that prove a challenge to those living with SCI in Latin America and Africa.
The special character and role of family and community in the overcoming these challenges and providing hope and support for an individual is a key strength of these regions and beyond.
“In Latin America we still keep a strong family concept”, says Dr Montero. “It’s amazing how communities, neighbours and friends come the aid of people with SCI.”
These podcasts show us that while there are vast challenges to the care and management of those living with SCI—it’s the ‘small things’ and the choices we each make as individuals and compassionate communities that make the world of difference.