World CP Day: Free Wheelchairs Delivered to Bangladeshi Children
A highlight of this year’s World CP Day celebrations was the arrival of the first shipment of wheelchairs donated to children with cerebral palsy in Bangladesh.
The wheelchairs were distributed to children who are registered on the Bangladeshi Cerebral Palsy Register (BCPR) – an initiatve that was made possible with the support of the Research Foundation of Cerebral Palsy Alliance.
Since January 2015, 342 children with cerebral palsy have been registered into the BCPR. The majority of the children registered on the BCPR have never received any assistive devices (e.g. wheel chair) or rehabilitative services in their life.
In 2014 Dr Gulam Khandaker of the Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, in collaboration with the Child Sight Foundation (CSF), Bangladesh received a grant of $27,000 from the Research Foundation, Cerebral Palsy Alliance to develop a cerebral palsy population register in Bangladesh.
Using the existing infrastructure of the Australian Cerebral Palsy Register; Bangladesh Cerebral Palsy Register (BCPR) is the first CP Register to be established in a low income setting.
Using the available infrastructure of the Australian Cerebral Palsy Register (ACPR), the BCPR pilot study aims to develop, implement, and evaluate a CP population register in Bangladesh to facilitate studies on prevalence, severity, aetiology, associated impairments and risk factors for CP in Bangladesh.
BCPR is supported by the Research Foundation, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Australia and CSF, Bangladesh.
In a separate grant from Research Foundation, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, thanks to a generous financial donation from TNA Solutions (www.tnasolutions.com ) and the generosity of Wheelchairs for Kids (www.wheelchairsforkids.org WFK), an Australian NGO, those children have been provided with free wheelchairs. WFK is run by retiree volunteers who have made and distributed over 30,000 wheelchairs among disabled children in developing countries since 1998.
To date 121 WFK wheelchairs have been distributed among those children with CP who were registered into the BCPR. Research Foundation, Cerebral Palsy Alliance and TNA Solutions also supported this initiative by covering the transportation and distribution costs of those wheelchairs from Australia to Bangladesh.
Thanks to an additional donation from TNA Solutions, a further shipment of 166 wheelchairs donated by WFK is due to be shipped to Bangladesh on 26 October 2015.