By Amedia Anyang
The need to improve on the quality of rehabilitation services provided to Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the communities in Cameroon is the motivation that the CBC Health Services through its EDID Program initiated the Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Certification course. This training, which is taking place at the Head Office of the CBCHS in Nkwen, Bamenda, North West Region, began on October 16, 2021 to run for a year. The course is sponsored by the Liliana Foundation.
After undertaking a needs assessment of the capacity of field workers, the CBCHS realized the need to improve on their skills. The training will build on concepts related to disability, give an insight into International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) tools and Disability models. It will help them see how disability is not isolated from the environment, but get them to look at it from a holistic perspective, which has not been happening. Participants were selected from different regions and work with partner organizations that collaborate with the EDID program of the CBCHS.
Mr. Biloa Rodrigue, a differently abled participant from the Center Region, believes he is better placed to help other PWDs like him see reasons to the fact that we are all humans and that they can do more than those without a disability. “My greatest desire will be for them to be reintegrated back into the society, and that being a handicap doesn’t mean your life is over. So, we must overcome this handicap by adopting strategies that will build our confidence, help us live like others, and better,” he intimates. Mr. Biloa hopes to learn skills that will help him convince his peers to see themselves in a better light.
Mme Matilla Banfora, another participant reveals that she decided to take the course in order to be trained and better informed on how to actively be involved in fostering the course of PWDs. She also hopes to acquire skills that will help her educate the general public on how to better the livelihood of PWDs.
This course comes as a response to the inadequate response of the public and governing bodies to Persons with Disabilities, otherwise known as differently abled persons. As cited by Catherine Marshall in her article, Life through the eyes of a disabled person, “Why is it that you stare, Is it because I’m in a chair, or is it because you really care? Are you looking for respect, Are you feeling some neglect, Are you trying to understand, Are you trying to lend a hand?” gives an idea of how PWDs feel. The general public whether disabled or not are thus encouraged to take this course to gain knowledge to improve their actions towards disability.