In partnership with the Cebu Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), the Latter-Day Saints (LDS) Charities-Philippines Inc. will be distributing 200 wheelchairs this year.
These are among the 300 units that LDS Charities, a world-wide humanitarian organization focusing on self-reliance, pledged in 2015 to be given to persons with disabilities (PWDs). Some 100 wheelchairs have already been successfully distributed.
PSWD Officer Marivic Racho-Garces said that the LDS-sponsored project continues to serve more PWDs in Cebu Province this year.
“We will continue to distribute the wheelchairs and this project is in line with the vision of the Latter-Day Saints to provide comfort and improve the status of the lives of PWDs,” Garces said.
She also said that the humanitarian project is to improve the mobility of individuals with physical disabilities, especially the working PWDs and students in the province.
“The wheelchairs were distributed to persons who acquired their disabilities by accident, not inborn. Also, they are either working or studying formally. The wheelchairs will provide them continuity of their daily routines so these are important to them,” she said in Cebuano.
Garces also added that the biggest impact of this project is that PSWDO is not discriminating PWDs. This is one of their ways of reaching out to them so that they can participate in the community activities.
The massive registration and screening of the PWDs for the remaining wheelchairs is still going on.
Last May 26 in Carcar City, the trained assessors conducted an interview and screening for the PWDs and 13 out of 30 PWDs were qualified to avail of the wheelchair.
Last June 1-3, the trained assessors were also conducting a screening or assessment of PWDs in the municipalities of Bantayan, Sta. Fe and Madridejos.
Garces said that they will give 60 wheelchairs in the three municipalities and it will depend on the result of the screening.
“If the project is successful, LDS Charities will continue to partner with PSWDO in supporting the welfare of the PWDs. They’re also planning a livelihood program for the PWDs,” said Garces.
In availing of the wheelchair, there are two types of screening or assessment, which are hospital or community setting.
In hospital setting, the patient comes to the hospital for consultation or assessment regarding the service and the trained assessor will conduct an interview to determine the eligibility of patient with emphasis on the type of disability. After determining the type of disability, the assessor must also determine and establish the present health concern or status of the patient so that the patient could be provided with the appropriate type of wheelchair.
In the community setting, the Barangay Health Workers (BHWs) who have been trained as wheelchair assessor will conduct a community visit where there are possible PWDs who need the service. Once they have been identified a specific barangay with potential beneficiaries, an invitation will be given to those who qualified in the pre-assessment and followed for the final assessment.
The prescribed assessment forms should be accomplished and duly approved by the trained assessor. Eligible beneficiaries are required to have at least 40 hours of community service, medical certificate issued by a Physician or a Licensed Physical Therapist and a whole body picture.
Once requirements have been submitted and assessment forms have been approved, the wheelchair will be released.