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Helping disabled people in the north-east of the country

On the occasion of the International Day of Disabled Persons, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), with support from the District Disability Rehabilitation Centre (DDRC), an organisation run by the Indian Red Cross society of Dimapur, has re-launched a physical rehabilitation centre in Dimapur, Nagaland.

"Injuries inflicted by anti-personnel mines or other explosive weapons can lead to amputation, severe disability and psychological trauma. These casualties require specialist surgery and post-operative care in the first instance and rehabilitation and psychological support in the longer term," said Achilles Otou-Essono, an ICRC physical rehabilitation programme manager. "The best way to overcome these medical challenges is to have highly-skilled, professional personnel and to use suitable materials. This is clearly what we aim to achieve in Dimapur."

The work carried out in cooperation with the District Disability Rehabilitation Centre will result in improved care for patients. The centre is stocked with the latest machines and equipment for people who have lost their limbs in accidents or who have been injured by anti-personnel mines or other types of explosive weapons. Patients will be provided with prostheses, orthoses, crutches and wheelchairs and will also receive physiotherapy.

"This centre is aimed at helping all those in India's north-east in need of medical devices, mobility aids and physiotherapy," said Fran├žois Stamm, head of the ICRC delegation in India. "Hopefully it will attract patients from Nagaland and nearby states like Manipur, Arunachal, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram."

The ICRC has been running a physical rehabilitation programme for disabled people in India since 2004. Currently, the organization supports two facilities in government-run hospitals in Srinagar and Jammu. In addition, the ICRC is planning to develop another centre in Chhattisgarh.

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