Three decades of war and civil unrest have left Afghanistan’s healthcare infrastructure woefully inadequate to care for its population. Healthcare for women and children is among the worst in the world. By age five, 9.7% of children in Afghanistan die due to lack of care during birth and treatment for basic ailments thereafter. The consequences for disabled children in Afghanistan who do not have access to treatment are particularly harsh and too often life-threatening.
The Kabul Orthopedic Organization ("KOO") was originally started by the Sandy Gall Afghanistan Appeal (SGAA) in 1996 but was handed over to the Taliban in 1998 due to lack of funds. In 2004, KOO was re-established and registered as an Independent Non-Profit / Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
Key Facts About Disability In Afghanistan
Due to social and religious beliefs in Afghanistan, disability is often seen as a punishment and when untreated, as a financial burden to the family, making disabled children particularly vulnerable to abuse and neglect.
70% of disabled adults are unemployed in Afghanistan. For children with an untreated limb disability and no education, this is likely their fate, and a common result for many is street begging.
On average, children from the poorest areas of Afghanistan have to walk 7 kilometers (or 3.35 miles) to the nearest secondary school. For children unable to access or afford the mobility aid they need to walk, school is physically unattainable.
For the 30th Anniversary of the World Relief Campaign, the Social Action Leadership Team (“SALT”) partnered with ALTSO to bring mobility to 400 children in Afghanistan by providing prosthetic limbs, orthotic devices, mobility aids, and prosthetic and orthotic repairs & adjustments.
The 400 Movement - Giving Children a Leg Up on Life - had an initial goal of serving 400 children by raising $25,000. Through the charitable contributions of so many generous people and the numerous hours of work from dedicated Salters, the Social Action Leadership is overjoyed to share that The 400 Movement raised $40,000 on its 30th anniversary of the World Relief Campaign. Over the course of 2015 and 2016, this support will help a total of 640 children in Afghanistan achieve mobility in all aspects of life by providing prosthetic limbs, corrective surgeries, and orthotic devices. Thank you to everyone who supported The 400 Movement and helped spread justice by giving children a leg up on life.
Number of Children Treated
A total of 407 children were provided with free orthopedic care trough the efforts of SALT’s CampaignForKids. By helping these children gain movement, SALT gave them the potential to achieve mobility, in all aspects of life, which can lead to equality and justice.
Of the 358 children that did not attend school, 87% were not of age.
Of the 407 total patients, 57% were from a remote area of Afghanistan.
Of the 407 total cases, 95% were congenital disorders.
Of the 407 total patients, 83% received orthotic braces.
Name: Sofia Yosuf
Diagnosis: post-polio residual paralysis (PPRP)
Sofia was born into a family of hardworking but poor farmers. At age one she developed PPRP, a condition that affects approximately 25–50% of people who have previously survived an acute attack of poliomyelitis - a viral infection of the nervous system. Her family’s daily income is less than $2.75 per day.
After receiving treatment from SALT, she can happily stand on her own for the first time.
Name: Fiasal Shah Mohamad
Diagnosis: lower limb amputation
A the age of seven, Faisal was involved in a serious car accident which resulted in the amputation of his lower left leg. His mother and father who are both literate, earn around under $2.75 per day. He received free orthopedic care from The 400 Movement’s WRC.
He now goes to school on his bicycle each day and stands proud in front of his classmates.
Name: Nadera Said Dawod
Diagnosis: cerebral palsy (CP)
At birth, Nadera was diagnosed with CP, a neurological disorder caused by a non-progressive brain injury or malformation that primarily affects body movement and muscle coordination.
Her mother, a homemaker, and father, a laborer, earn less than $2 a day. Because her family cannot afford treatment, Nadera was referred to ALTSO's program where she now receives free care - and can walk to school on her own - thanks to SALT's WRC.