A local non-governmental organisation has started a programme of training community caregivers and people living with wheelchair-confined relatives on ways of assisting the disabled, so that they do not develop secondary deformities.
The Health Promotion Clinic Trust (HPCT) director, Bigboy Madzivanzira said training caregivers at the grassroots level was key towards improving the lives of persons with disabilities in the country.
"HPCT has realised that there is poor supervision of individuals living with mobility disabilities, resulting in premature death due to pressure sores, urinary tract infections and other related conditions, hence our coming up with such a programme. It will educate people in different communities on how best they be handled," said Madzivanzira.
He said in most cases, people with disabilities were neglected not because relatives did not care, but because they lacked knowledge on how to look after them.
"This programme encompasses basic disability management and wheel-chair handling skills for those individuals," he added.
Madzivanzira said the organisation would decentralise the training programme to other towns.
"We realised that most of the training is done in the capital [Harare]. most people cannot afford bus fares and other expenses," he said.
"This is mainly an adult learning course. most of the participants need time to do other activities after training, so we decided to follow them into their communities."
The organisation is also involved in training nurse aides in Harare's suburbs of Kuwadzana Extension, Dzivaresekwa, Waterfalls, Glendale and Chitungwiza, among others.
The World Health Organistion (WHO) estimates that 1,3 million people have disabilities in the country, which is about 10% of the total population.