Salyan local unit offers free treatment for disabled kidsRehabilitation Centre for Disabled Children, Banepa will bear 85 percent cost.
Puranam BK has finally seen a ray of hope for his son, Nirmal BK, who is living with physical disabilities, having been born with limb malformations. The BK family, residents of Kapurkot Rural Municipality-1 of Salyan, have never been able to afford treatment for the 14-year-old.
With a recent initiative by the local unit, Nirmal’s situation now stands to improve.
The rural municipality has decided to provide free treatment for children with physical disabilities in coordination with the Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre for Disabled Children, Banepa, which will bear 85 percent of the cost.
The rural municipality entered into a five-year agreement with the centre on October 22. According to the agreement, Kapurkot will provide identification, treatment, surgery, rehabilitation, support materials and artificial limbs to children below 18 years living with physical disabilities in areas within its remit.
“This is good news for people like us who don’t have the financial resources to seek treatment,” Puranam said. “With physical disabilities, there never is a complete cure but just to have the support infrastructure to be able to lead a wholesome life is also a big deal.”
The drive will benefit about 300 children living with different types of physical disabilities in the local unit, said Durga Pun, chairman of the rural municipality.
“Physically able people cannot understand the struggle and suffering these poor children go through,” Pun said. “They are not only living with discomfort but also face social ostracisation.”
Pun added, “We took this initiative to provide these children with the opportunity to turn their lives around.”
In the first phase of the drive, the local unit plans to run health camps in villages to identify children living with disabilities, according to Pun. Children with missing limbs will be equipped with prosthesis. And minor surgeries can give someone their hearing abilities and even eyesight back.
“We are really hoping to change the lives of these children for the better so they can live their lives independently,” Pun said.
The rural municipality has deployed its employees for data collection in villages to identify disabled children and their disabilities. The rural municipality will arrange expenses for medicines, medical supplies, surgery, beds and food for children with disabilities. The health camp will provide artificial limbs, wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, spectacles, among others, free of cost to beneficiaries.
According to Chief District Officer Bharat Kumar Oli, the Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre has conducted several temporary health camps in the past but this latest initiative will be continued for five years.
“This agreement has given hope to children who are unable to speak, hear and see, and those living with other types of physical disabilities,” Oli said. “The successful implementation of this initiative will ensure a dignified life for the children with disabilities.”
Out of 300 children with disabilities in the rural municipality, 165 have disability identity cards while 135 are without, last year’s data of the rural municipality showed. The municipality provides identity cards to those who have an incurable disability. The identity cards are divided into four categories—A, B, C and D–on the basis of the extent of their disabilities. In Kapurkot, there are currently 11 children under category A, 65 in category B, 54 in category C and 35 in category D. But a fresh census is being conducted to ensure no child with disability is left out, Pun said.
Homraj KC, supervisor of the Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre for Disabled Children, says there are children with disabilities in all of Salyan’s 10 local units.
“Our collaboration ensures proper treatment for disabled children from a group of specialist doctors,” KC said. “Hopefully other local units will follow suit.”