Assistive devices strengthens Western Cape services to people with disabilities
Donation of assistive devices strengthens Western Cape services to people living with disabilities
In a boost to assistive devices services in urban and rural districts in the province, the Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness received a donation of 900 wheelchairs, 2 260 mobility aids, 196 hearing aids and multiple pieces of audiology and ophthalmology equipment from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at a ceremony yesterday, 16 November 2023.
This donation will enable the department to provide mobility aids that are specific to the client’s needs which they will be able to use to become more mobile at home and in their communities. In addition, the audiology equipment allows for early identification of hearing loss and fitting of hearing aids which support clients to improve their hearing at school, work, and social environments and the ophthalmology equipment will assist the department in the screening and the diagnosis of conditions such as cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma.
Globally, an estimated 1.3 billion people experience significant disability. This represents 16% of the world’s population, or 1 in 6 persons. The department provides services for persons with disabilities which includes the provision of assistive devices such as wheelchairs, mobility aids and hearing aids. This donation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will strengthen the services offered to persons with disabilities and allow for the department to order person-specific devices over a 12-month period.
This donation was fuelled by charitable donations from members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints across the globe. It forms part of The Church’s humanitarian aims to improve mobility, health, and the educational and economic opportunities for people with physical disabilities.
The ongoing support from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for services to persons with disabilities and improving our eye care services has been vital in improving the quality and the reach of services to clients across the province.
According to Mr Simon Kaye, Deputy Director General: Chief Financial Officer of Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness, “This donation plays a crucial role in assisting the department in providing quality services for persons with disabilities across the province.”
“Often, we have a very narrow financial view of what needs to go where. However, we always strive to do the most with what we are given and to meet the need of our communities. As such, we would like to thank The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for trusting us as a steward”, continued Kaye.
The donation offers a holistic intervention - in addition to assessing and correctly fitting devices for each individual needing one, it also includes training interventions for individuals and caregivers on how to use and care for the device and provides support for repair and maintenance. As such, the donation involves training and refresher courses for local physiotherapists and occupational therapists in the province.
President Mwaipopo of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints commented, “We are grateful for the small part we are playing in helping our brothers and sisters in increasing their mobility, leading to greater happiness and self-reliance.”