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Shanil Dzimbiri sources £500 000 assistive devices

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Member of Parliament for Balaka West, Patricia Shanil Dzimbiri, has said disability is an area often neglected by society resulting in the suffering of many who just need small help to live dignified lives.

Dzimbiri said government and non-governmental organisations have not done enough to alleviate the plight of people living with disabilities in the country.

Speaking after donating part of the £500 000 worth of assistive devices to Sue Ryder Foundation in Malawi (SRFIM), Dzimbiri said SRFIM is doing a noble work by providing physiotherapy to poor people for free and transforming lives of many people with disabilities to enjoy dignified lives.

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“What prompted me to look for assistive devices when I attended a graduation ceremony for my child in the UK last year is the fact that not much is being done by many to assist those who were involved in accidents, suffered stroke or are in need of rehabilitation back to normal life,” she said.

Dzimbiri also said at the rate accidents and stroke are disabling people in the country, there is need for concerted efforts to source funds to support physiotherapy.

SRFIM Executive Director, Anthony Chilembwe said although they strive to serve poor people in need of physiotherapy, they have inadequate assistive devices due to limited funds and exorbitant costs attached.

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“Assistive devices such as adjustable wheel chairs, walking sticks, baby walkers, among others, for physical manipulation will support so many clients who normally come in from all over the country to attend our medical rehabilitation services,” Chilembwe said.

He said some of the equipment will be used in their door-to-door community outreach rehabilitation clinics conducted in hard-to-reach remote areas of Ntcheu and Balaka where they also help with asthma, malaria and epilepsy medication.

Dzimbiri made the donation with support from PhysioNet UK and apart from SRFIM, the assistive devices will also benefit Kachere Rehabilitation Centre, Kankao Disabled Children Centre and Kankao Hospital.

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