Levels of Integration for People with Spinal Cord Injury in Bangladesh
Dr AKM Momin
This project was funded by a studentship award from the British Council.
This research set out to evaluate the impact of services provided by the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) in Bangladesh. There is an enormous need for services to people with spinal cord lesion’s (SCL) in Bangladesh. This need is acknowledged by the government but services are minimal and not necessarily appropriate. Thus there is a need to assess the extent to which CRP is making a contribution, which can be emulated, in order to meet the articulated needs of disabled people and affect their levels of integration into family and community.
The data was generated through interviews and focus groups with key informants but mainly with two samples of people with SCL – those who have access to CRP services and those who have not. This study assesses their own experiences and reflections on these, and measures their levels of integration along a range of dimensions, using SPSS to test for differences in experiences and outcomes and supplementing the analysis with material from the interviews.
The research concludes with the findings that there is a huge area of existing need, and documents the poor and often counterproductive service provided in government hospitals. At the same time it conclusively demonstrates that CRP services are effective in improving levels of integration along the range of dimensions investigated.
The findings indicate that in general inadequate services, poverty, negative attitudes of society towards people with SCL, discriminatory laws, inaccessible built environment and transport systems are the main causes of poor integration into community life. As I have discussed with reference to the conclusion, in a globalised world where the divisions between rich and poor nations are so vast, Bangladesh alone cannot hope to address the problems of people with SCL and other disabled people without a radical transformation of policy and culture at the international level. This requires the reformulation of existing service provision for people with SCL and their families. In addition, bi-lateral and multi-lateral cooperation with high resource countries and organisations is essential.
Key words: Spinal cord injury, integration, community life, personal care, the built environment and transport systems, family life, social life, education, employment, Government of Bangladesh, NGOs.
The study will be published in full as a University of Leeds PhD thesis