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Under a project of the Polish Medical Mission, ROPA - Rodzic Opiekun Podstawą Azerbejdżanu (Parent Carer as the Foundation of Azerbaijan), co-financed by the RITA Foundation - Transitions in the Region. An NDT-Bobath physiotherapist and therapist Małgorzata Foryt and a camera operator Guillermo Luna took a 12-day trip to Azerbaijan. The project was implemented in 4 centres in 3 different regions of the country:
1. Children's Future Centre in Baku
2. Saatly Family and Children Help Centre
3. Shuvalan Children Development Centre
4. Azerbaijan Physiotherapy Association Centre in Baku
The project has resulted in consultations with 40 children, training of 26 people working daily with children with disabilities and 40 families (about 100 people) on basic principles of proper childcare and providing therapeutic guidance that may be helpful in the further care of charges of the four centres in which our volunteers worked.
Over 12 days, we also managed to collect a dozen or so hours of recordings to be used to create instructional videos that will be shared with all involved in the project: the centres' employees, as well as parents who are already attending and those who will attend the therapy. The material is educational and instructional, and will be used as a helping hand in working with children and for those who meet with people with disabilities on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, in developing countries, physiotherapy is pushed into the background, mainly because it requires long-term planning; it is not something that will work in few days, sometimes it takes several months, so the substantive and practical support of outside professionals in both help centres for the disabled, as well as the family environment, is very important.
Project Follow-Up Future Projects Plans
After this short visit to Azerbaijan, one conclusion is that further assistance is needed from external specialists, both in Baku, where there are already centres where families affected by disabilities of children can find help, and, above all, in regions where these centres are much fewer and lacking specialists.
The ambulatory physiotherapy project may be extremely interesting and offering a wide spectrum of help. A specialist/specialists within the project could travel between several centres to give "physiotherapeutic assistance" in various regions of Azerbaijan, not only direct help for the child/person with disabilities, but also instructional trainings for therapists and families.