MALAWI AGAINST PHYSICAL DISABILITIES
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MALAWI AGAINST PHYSICAL DISABILITIES    

Map started in 1979 after it was discovered that there were so many people with different physical disabilities and nothing was being done to assist them.  The idea was initiated by Archbishop Donald Arden of Diocese of Southern Malawi – Malosa 

The meeting was called between the ministry of Health, Malawi Council for the handicapped and service clubs like Rotary and Lions. 

To assess the magnitude of the problem, the meeting agreed to invite all persons with physical disabilities in that area to converge at different places like Mangochi, Namwera, Balaka, Malosa, Liwonde on a particular date when the day came the assessors went to the mentioned places and by the end of that day they had seen 500 people.

After the assessments, the medical people recommended that some of the people could benefit from surgical operations and maybe use crutches and calipers while others would need wheelchairs straight away as correction would not be of any benefit to them.  For the production of mobility aids like calipers, the group decided to contact a gentleman by the name of Ronald Hackstep who had a workshop for the production of appliances for people with physical disabilities in Uganda.  When Hackstep came to Malawi he had discussions, gave his advises and then MAP was born. 

With financial assistance from Rotary International, an office was set up in Lilongwe then a workshop but knowing that one workshop could not meet the demands of the whole country, another workshop was opened in Blantyre and then Rumphi.  Physiotherapists were employed to provide assessment as well as physical therapy to the patients.  The first clinic was opened in 1982 at Nguludi Hospital in Chiradzulu. 

The main job of MAP is to provide mobility to people with physical disabilities and exercises. 

MAP believes that by making a person mobile, he/she is empowered because if mobile, the person can engage in anything like getting employment, socializing or do business.  

MAP also knows that although it provides mobility to People with disabilities, it also provides impossibilities because a thing like a tricycle can not be easily be transported because of its weight and not being foldable, another worsening situation is the coming of minibuses and the disappearance of the big buses and this is an issue which needs to be sorted out by the Ministry of Transport.  And MAP is suggesting that where there are no big buses operating, at least an introduction one, or a few of the big bus so that people with wheelchairs can easily travel. 


© Malawi Against Physical Disabilities, P.O Box 256,Blantyre,Malawi.Allrights Reserved
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