Accident victims get new lease on life

29 Sep 2015 07:40am
WINDHOEK, 29 SEP (NAMPA) – More than 30 houses across the country have been modified by the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA) to accommodate accident victims.
This is in line with the MVA policy of rehabilitating such victims to return to the lives they lived before being injured in road crashes.
Addressing a media event on First Aid and the beneficiaries of the MVA Fund here on Friday, the MVA’s Head of Corporate Communications, Mona-Lisa Garises, said modifications have taken place not only in the capital, but in other towns as well.
The modified houses are formally constructed buildings and not structures in informal settlements, as Garises said modifications at the moment do not apply to houses in informal settlements.
Modifications mainly focus on enabling the victims to be self-reliant and include railings along the wall for victims to hold onto and walk, and handles around the bathroom to assist victims whenever showering or needing other ablution facilities. Showering chairs are provided for those who cannot stand for long when they have to shower.
“People respond better at home than in hospital and the bathroom is one place in any house where all of us want to be alone,” Garises said.
The fund also trains caretakers to look after victims, depending on the needs of the victims.
The modifications cater not only for permanently disabled people, but also for those who can be rehabilitated to be able to resume work.
For those who are permanently disabled, the fund makes sure that such victims are under the provision of a caretaker who is trained to meet the victim’s needs. The caretaker should be someone the person trusts and feels comfortable with.
The spokesperson of the MVA, Kapena Tjombonde said they also do vehicle modifications, but a big number of those involved in accidents do not require vehicle modification.
A cleaner at the Augustineum Senior Secondary School, Maria Shikomba, was involved in a vehicle accident in June 2015 and is one of the people who have benefited from modifications by the MVA Fund. Her spinal cord was injured, affecting her muscles for movement and general ability to sense.
Shikomba has been recovering well and is optimistic about the rehabilitation process.
She is currently being taken care of by her husband and another family member, and will resume duty as soon as she has recovered completely.
Shikomba told this agency that she is happy with the assistance received.
“I now am able to bathe myself and get into a vehicle because of the modification done to my house,” she said.
Shikomba lives in Katutura next to the Single Quarters in Mungunda Street.