MVA Fund supports caretakers of spinal injury
By September 2015, the MVA Fund recorded 180 seriously injured claimants and the number has increased since to 197.
The Spinalis Rehabilitation Unit based at the Windhoek Central Hospital which was established in 2013 in partnership with the Swedish Spinalis Foundation and Ministry of Health and Social Services has achieved great strides in providing intense rehabilitation to customers with spinal cord injuries.
According to Kapena Tjombonde, Chief Corporate Affairs at the MVA Fund, the real challenge however begins when a patient is discharged as they have to find ways to adjust and adapt to significant physical, emotional and psychological changes brought about by the extent of their injuries
“When customers are discharged and re-integrated into the community under the care of a relative or friend, some of them fail to sustain the rehabilitation gains, as evidenced by some customers who developed pressure sores when they returned to their communities,” she said.
Tjombond said that, “caretaker training is crucial in preventing the emergence of new complications because when a caretaker is not well-trained on how to take care of the claimant, complications such as pressure sores, septicaemia and pneumonia might emerge. It may cost up to N$400,000 on average to treat pressure sores per patient.
“Trained caretakers will thus be able to prevent most of the complications by detecting early symptoms of emerging infections which will lead to early referrals and treatment,” she added.
Participants in the caretaker training are pleased to have attended the training, proclaiming that they have learnt a lot on how to deal with seriously injured persons (SIP’s).
According to Elizabeth Araes, who is taking care of her brother who was seriously injured in a car crash, the training has assisted her on how to handle stress that she experiences on a daily basis.
“My brother is angry most of the time and he doesn’t want to talk to us; sometimes he will kick off the water from the bed when I am busy bathing him or he just starts to cry and this was very emotional for me. But now I have learnt how to handle him when he is sad because of the training,” she said.
Araes thanked the MVA Fund for providing her with all the necessary support. “I really appreciate the support that MVA Fund has provided me – you are like family to me and I ask the Lord to give you more strength to continue doing the good job you are entrusted with”.
Narrating how the training has assisted him, the 25 year old Mbaunguraije Karutjindo from Omaheke region, said he did not know how to take care of his sister until he attended the training.
“I used to face a lot of challenges because my sister used to be angry most of the time and she was not like that before the accident. This used to stress me a lot. The training has taught me how I should handle her when she is unhappy and sad,” he added.
Mbaunguraije said that the training was not only beneficial to the seriously injured but also taught him how he should take care of himself if he happen to find himself in a similar situation. Mbaunguraije furthermore thanked the MVA Fund Case Managers for the support they have been providing.
The caretakers had little knowledge and technique on how to take care of the claimants before they went through the training, subsequently the caretakers seemed more composed and confident with their task.
This training is in line with the MVA Fund vision of “supporting your journey to independence”.