The webinar entitled ‘Measuring outcomes in community-based stroke rehabilitation: enhancing inclusion and participation’, led by Dr Helen Moore, Social Dimensions of Health Institute, Universities of Dundee and St Andrews, will be held on Wednesday 17th July at 3pm (BST). This webinar is free and if you would like to join then please contact Fred Comerford (fac1 @st-andrews.ac.uk) or Rosanne Bell (r.c.bell @dundee.ac.uk)
The Centro Marista de Inclusão Digital (CMID)
￼The Centre offers instruction in how to reuse materials, engineering, software design and information retrieval and sharing. Pupils learn individually and in teams how to design and use IT products. They acquire skills that are highly sought after in the labour market and they receive certificates of attendance for classes. What they develop does not only work well, it is significantly cheaper than any commercially refurbished product. This in turn benefits those who have limited means and would otherwise never be able to afford computer equipment or certain assistive technologies. The staff at the Centre are supportive, highly engaged and creative. Their initiative pays off in terms of advanced skills in the young generation.
A recent photographic story in the New York Times describes the life of Denise Sherer Jacobson, 63 who was born with cerebral palsy. It highlights some of the challenges related to medical care received by Mrs Jacobson. Living with Cerebral Palsy
I am holding in my hand two plastic blossoms with the names of two young men I never had a chance to meet This is the last day of a nursing conference in Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil. On 27th January this year a devastating fire broke out in the night club Kiss and claimed the lives of over 242 young people and has deeply affected everyone in this town of 270,000. The colourful blossom in my hand, the hand of an outsider who was invited to partake in the celebration of a life that ended before it could blossom.
This is a city in mourning, everyone is touched by s tragedy that was unforeseeable, sudden, transformative.
It catapulted Santa Maria onto the international evening news around the globe. For all the lives lost, many more have been shattered for ever. Another young person died in Porto Alegre this morning.
A doctor I spoke to said that treating the respiratory effects of smoke inhalation is only one terrible part of the story. The emotional trauma, the anxiety of the young patients who come to see him regularly; the fear to be in a room where the windows are closed is unimaginable.
Everybody who worked on that fateful night, gave more than they thought was ever possible. Casualties kept pouring into the hospitals, some at a distance of more that 20 kilometres from the city centre. Makeshift beds in the corridors, emergency services, nurses, doctors, ordinary people were joined together. The most fundamental resource that night was the human being. Months after the event, I got a glimpse of this amazing resource in the form of the nurses, the doctors, the students in Santa Maria. Equipment may fail or may not be ready to use but the imagination, creativity resourcefulness of these people will not. They command the most powerful resource there is: love and care.
They hug a lot in Brazil. Perhaps, even more since that fateful night in January in Santa Maria. The comfort that is sought and found in the touch and embrace of another human being does not compare.
So, I attach the plastic flower bearing the name of Joao and David to the tree, think about them, not about their deaths but about how their short lives have touched so many others and how they now travel in my thoughts and heart to places they did not get a chance to see.
The people I met in Santa Maria carry their hearts on their faces. They may look at you with a laughing and a sad eye, with a spectrum of emotions like the colours of a rainbow in Scotland. But in the end, it is the smile that will find your heart and warm you.
I had the great pleasure to travel to Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil in the last week to attend an International Conference and to meet many individuals on this short visit. I have decided to report about some of these experiences on the SDHI site as they reflect what I have learned about the varied social dimensions of health, wellbeing and participation.
- Thilo Kroll