The Impact of SCI in Nepal
In Nepal, all the consequences of disability experienced by people with SCI in the developed world are magnified. More people die from the complications than in Canada. For survivors the quality of life may be severely compromised.
This excellent 17 minute movie from DMW will let you share the life experiences of people dealing with SCI. Watching this will give you a feel for the situation facing a spinal cord injured person in Nepal (click the play arrow to run, expand to full screen, right click to turn scaling on for a full-screen picture).
Imagine trying to provide for your family working on the family farm from a wheelchair: this is what it means to be disabled in Nepal. In towns, it is also difficult to contribute to family welfare as sidewalks, when present, are largely impassable and most public buildings, including shops, are mostly inaccessible. Even temples present serious barriers. Overall, mobility impairment means that work is virtually impossible for someone with a disability, and, in a country where the average annual per capita income is less than US$650, a “non-productive” family member can tip a family from poverty into dire destitution. Immobility often leads to social isolation and breakdown of the family. Home life is difficult, and people with SCI cannot easily visit their extended families and friends. They find it difficult to get into the community to pursue recreational or educational opportunities. Loss of independence and social support may lead to depression and other psychological problems.
There is hope
Left, a patient at SIRC enjoys indoor games.
Right, Thanka artist Ngawang Chhiri Sherpa at home. For more on his success story click here