Platform for health
The work of the Republican Rehabilitation Centre for Disabled Children, run by the Labour and Social Protection Ministry, is evidence of this attitude.
Marianna Shchetkina (R) visits the centre. Photo: Artur PRUPAS
Anton is a virtuoso in piano playing, while Nikita plays the accordion beautifully and Alina has mastered concert whistling. These children were once unable even to hold a musical instrument: now, they play almost professionally. The Centre helps them not merely conquer their disabilities but confidently join public life.
Six boys and girls — who are undergoing rehabilitation at the Centre — have entered secondary and higher educational establishments this year. Nikita and Alina focus on music while Olga has entered Vitebsk’s Fashion Theatre (at the Vitebsk City Centre of Additional Education for Children and Youth) and Pavel is now a student at the Industrial College. Nastya will become a philologist and translator after graduating from Mogilev’s Kuleshov State University and Valery will graduate from the Belarusian State University as an historian. Children’s dreams are coming true thanks to modern medical treatment.
80 children (aged 3-18) suffering from loco-motor problems are undergoing rehabilitation at the Centre. Of course, no miracle is possible without financial assistance. Over the past two months, Br111.8 million has been spent on modern equipment for the Centre — including a new cryo-device, simulators, a massage bed, baths for hydro-massage and tables, and robotic rehabilitation platforms (resembling gambling machines rather than medical equipment) to detect problems with legs and hands. The local hotel has been revamped too, for mothers to stay.
The Centre welcomes patients from all around Belarus. In the coming days, another 60 children will arrive, including 21 from remote villages. All will be coming for the first time but many will need to return. A rehabilitation course lasts 4-6 weeks, with each child enjoying free rehabilitation for three months each year.
Marianna Shchetkina, Labour and Social Protection Minister and Chair of the Belarusian Union of Women:
The Republican Rehabilitation Centre for Disabled Children is a unique establishment, built in 2000 as part of the Children of Belarus programme. No other such exists within the post-Soviet space and, in its 15 years of operation, almost 15,000 children suffering from loco-motor problems have enjoyed medical and social rehabilitation there. Each child who needs help has the opportunity to come to the Centre, which not only provides medical rehabilitation but successfully reveals their talents and establishes social ties. The state will always help children, taking responsibility for all.
By Yelena Misnik