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4 Results for Health Topics

4.7 Injury and physical rehabilitation

4.7.2 Expert Interviews

  • Evidence for rehabilitation-related interventions is particularly limited and currently there are no major research initiatives in this field.
  • Research related to injury and rehabilitation is limited among operational NGOs and is rarely integrated into programmes.
  • Patients suffering from physical injury, and requiring rehabilitation, need continued care and follow up; in this sense management is comparable to that of non-communicable diseases. As such, it is crucial that local service providers are able to maintain the services delivered during the emergency phase.  This has been challenging in a number of different contexts.
  • Experience of armed conflict – specifically civil war – in middle-income countries has forced practitioners to adapt their standards and model for interventions: the technologies used were upgraded, competency within the local health system was better harnessed, and it was possible to import materials.
  • Many of the studies were conducted by surgeons, and are based on their experiences during crises.
  • Research related to injury and rehabilitation has largely focused on the clinical and technical aspects of an intervention, as practitioners wanted to test different protocols and technologies.
  • The progress made with new technologies means that research can now focus on under-researched aspects of crisis interventions, such as service delivery and health systems. Several guidelines are available on surgery and orthopaedics. At the individual level, professionals know what services they have to deliver. The challenge remains with whom to work, how to integrate rehabilitation into the general health system, and how to integrate local services when establishing an acute intervention.
  • Research also focused on demonstrating that people with disabilities should not be excluded from mainstream services offered by humanitarian organisations. Physical and communication obstacles experienced by people with disabilities during the acute emergency phase create barriers to access to services. However, the complexity of this situation has not been fully explored.
  • The aftermath of the 2010 Haitian earthquake required extensive surgical and rehabilitative interventions. The scale of the interventions and the difficulties met by operational actors generated new questions related to the capacity of humanitarian organisations to intervene in such contexts.
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