The project aims to provide both immediate assistance to children who have lost their limbs due to the Kahramanmaraş earthquake and to establish a comprehensive, sustainable, and permanent rehabilitation model designed specifically for children.
It has three main objectives to be achieved in the short, medium, and long term:
- Provision of prostheses and comprehensive rehabilitation to all children affected by the Kahramanmaraş earthquake who need them:
The project’s primary and most important goal is to provide comprehensive and multidisciplinary rehabilitation services tailored to the unique needs of each child who has lost a limb. This goal includes providing prostheses or other devices to enhance the general well-being and functional independence of children. The services encompass physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychological counseling, and the application of assistive technologies. All services are provided and supervised by the health personnel of Çukurova University School of Medicine Balcalı Hospital and the Scientific Board. Additionally, financial scholarships are provided to ensure that all children can continue their education, and their full-time attendance to school is supported.
- Construction and operation of a dedicated Rehabilitation Center for children who have lost limbs:
Currently, there is no dedicated multidisciplinary rehabilitation center in Turkey that effectively caters to the complex and diverse needs of children who have lost their limbs. These children have complex and evolving needs that require collaboration among orthopedic specialists, pediatricians, physical therapy and rehabilitation experts, physiotherapists, child psychiatrists, child psychologists, and other medical disciplines as indicated by the unique needs of each child. Therefore, it is determined essential by the project partners that there’s an urgent need for a child-centered medical center, designed for multidisciplinary treatment tailored to the evolving needs of children who have lost limbs as they grow.
Initially, a temporary center building was constructed and equipped by the Hüsnü Özyeğin Foundation. (Child Wellness Center is Opened!) All medical services at the Child Wellness Center are provided by doctors and healthcare professionals appointed by the University as an extension of Çukurova University School of Medicine Balcalı Hospital. In the next phase, work will begin on the construction of a permanent Child Wellness Center.
- Establishing a Center of Excellence in pediatric rehabilitation for children who have lost limbs in Turkey:
The project’s long-term vision is to develop the Child Wellness Center into a research, development, education, and innovation center for the rehabilitation and care of all children who have suffered from both natural and unnatural disasters in Turkey and the region. This comprehensive rehabilitation center will not only serve children who have lost limbs but also children born without limbs, children with movement disorders, children with intensive care aftereffects, trauma victims, and children with complex neurological disorders. By establishing strategic partnerships with both national and international stakeholders, it will specialize in childcare, advance research studies, enhance treatment outcomes, and contribute to children’s well-being. The activities will include research studies, clinical training, the development of outcome metrics, collaborative research initiatives, education and awareness programs for healthcare professionals, technological innovations and application studies, continuous professional development, and advocacy and awareness activities for children who have lost limbs in the field of child rehabilitation.
This Center of Excellence in pediatric rehabilitation will not only provide excellent care for children who have lost their limbs but will also aim to make advancements, improve treatment outcomes, and contribute to the well-being of children in this field.