The national center for Medical Rehabilitation (NCMR), Ministry of health, is responsible for the medical rehabilitation of disabled people. The scheme of tasks includes furnishing rehabilitation technical support to central, provincial service / hospitals and provincial community based rehabilitation (CBR) program.
Training technical staff and extending the rehabilitation network to 16 provinces and 6 districts throughout the country have been undertaken.
Difficulties of rehabilitation services in Laos are as follow :
- Some families do not believe that rehabilitation is helpful
- The state rehabilitation network for disable persons has not been able to reach out to the grassroot level yet ; so far, it has only been able to perfome at the provincial level
- Living in remote areas makes it impossible to access rehabilitation
- Some families think that it is wrong to force a child to take rehabilitation
- Due to poverty, the parents are unable to send a child for treatment and / or long term rehabilitation
- Due to poverty, family members must devote their time to supporting the family which limits their time for a disabled person
A parent does not know how to assist and train his/her child about basic self help and rehabilitation (basic physiotherapy).
USAID, World vision and Power have provided support for assistive devioes for disabled persons such as prosthesis and rehabilitation, and artificial limbs’for amputees.
V. Education for PWDs.
Due to the increased number of PWDs in society and though a higher enrolment of disable students in regular schools, teachers can better understand the need for providing accessible classrooms, toilets, and other facilities. Courses on designing accessible buildings have been conducted at the university’s architecture faculty. Moreover, issues on accessibility, CBR, and integrated education were raised and discussed by provincial authorities, village leaders and teachers.
The MOE is responsible for compulsory education of both non disabled and disabled children nationwide. As per the MOE’s authority, all kindergartens, pre school center and primary schools must be informed that disabled children are to be enrolled.
VI. Vocational Training for PWDs
The government approved the establishment of a multi discipline vocational training center in Vientiane Prefecture, which may increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities. In order to provide job placements that mach the skill of persons with disabilities, the Ministry of Labor and social welfare has also developed a curriculum of tailoring arts and paper manufacturing handicrafts. A vocational training center soon to be completed will be run by the sisters of St. Paul De Charter of Thailand. Training courses include computer, accounting, the English language, agriculture, animal husbandry, tailoring and handicrafts. The National center of Medical Rehabilitation (NCMR) envisages having a multi discipline vocational traing center for deaf persons and providing carpentry, blacksmith, etc. training center if there is foreign financial support.
VII. The problems of developing self help group of PWDs in Lao PDR
Difficulty to living in daily life, Economic situation is not very good and low income
The organization of self help group of PWDs is not strengthening that we need to improve with 3 main steps as :
- Developing Human Resource
- Developing the system of implementation and coordination
- Materials support and budget plan.