28 Oct 2016 IMU Cares by Enabling Customised Mobility Aids for Deserving Children
Petaling Jaya, 25 October 2016 – International Medical University (IMU) has embarked on an initiative which will see children diagnosed with neuromuscular conditions such as cerebral palsy and congenital hydrocephalus receiving customised specialised mobility aid solutions.
The initiative, which falls under the university’s IMU Cares programme, will benefit children falling under the purview of the Spastic Children’s Association of Selangor and Federal Territory (SCASFT) who have poor trunk motor control which prevents them from being able to sit upright independently.
Led by IMU Cares, the project is the result of a concerted joint effort which saw the collaboration between a team by IMU led by Dr Kenneth Edward Reckelhoff, medical professionals and experts – a group consisting of nine people in total. These include Dr Toh Teck Hock, Paediatrician and Head of the Sibu Hospital Clinical Research Centre. Dr Toh is also the Secretary of the Association for Children with Special Needs in Sibu and is one of the leading experts in making customised mobility aid solutions in the country.
Nine children have so far been identified to receive these made-to-measure mobility aid solutions with additional two units for common use at SCASFT. The specific recipients were selected based on the severity of their condition and those with current ill-fitting devices. The newly presented equipment, fabricated in the Tatsumo workshop in Sibu, will go a long way in assisting caregivers in enabling the children to perform daily activities.
“Without the aids, some of the children will be lying down all the time as they lack the muscle tone necessary to hold themselves in a seated or standing position. The aids are also tailor made to each child so that they fit properly and are more comfortable. It will also help them sit right and prevent scoliosis,” said Dr Anil Philip Kunnath, Home Leader of SCASFT Project.
Among the specially made mobility solution aids to be channelled to SCASFT include modified wheel chairs, modified buggy chairs, wooden chairs and standing frames (prone boards and supine boards).
The initiative was also made possible by the Khazanah IHH Healthcare Fund (KIHHHF). The RM50 million fund was set up in 2012 to help underprivileged patients in IHH’s home markets of Malaysia, Singapore and Turkey.
“In Malaysia, where 70 per cent of the Fund is channelled to, we have transformed the lives of about 1,000 people over the last three years through the Parkway Pantai Life Renewed programme run by our network of 14 Pantai and Gleneagles hospitals. The Khazanah IHH Healthcare Fund also supports the IMU Cares programme established by International Medical University,” said Encik Ahmad Shahizam, CEO, Malaysia Operations Division, Parkway Pantai, the main benefactor for the KIHHHF in Malaysia.
The implementation of this project comes as part of IMU’s focus on making meaningful contributions to the community under its IMU Cares initiative.
“The important message to the community at large is that parents with children suffering from cerebral palsy can get help to improve the quality of life for the family. The child need not necessarily be house bound but can enjoy the outside world of nature, parks and shopping malls. Next, we will also be teaching parents how to do simple exercises for their children and teaching the children to do the exercises themselves; to introduce other forms of therapy to the children,” said Prof Ong Kok Hai, Director of External Affairs and Chairman of IMU Cares.
Among past projects championed by the IMU Cares initiatives include health education for schools, including schools for refugee children, the annual Chariofare Run and Carnival to raise funds for deserving charitable organisations, and free health screenings for rural and urban communities among others.
More photos at IMU Cares Facebook