Since I came to know about Bring Zack Back Home campaign, I have done a few inquiries here and there looking for the background info. Unfortunately some people who have been driving the campaign have appeared to be arrogant and defensive when asked about the campaign online. May be they have their reasons but….. Yes, this about life and death, but people should not bring in the attitude which mostly I see with churches where you should not question anything else you go to hell.
Ok..back to the real important story at hand. I have not physically verified this but I am told by those in the know that in Kenya, we have The National Spinal Injury Hospital (NSIH) whose core mandate is to offer medical treatment to a spinal injury . In other words they undertakes medical procedures at acute stage to heal the injury and stabilize the patient. After that the patients are left on their own , and that is where the the rehabilitation centre comes in. There is no facility in the entire Eastern and Central Africa to offer rehabilitation of spinal injury. The center will seek to prevent secondary complications, maximization of physical functioning and reintegration of persons with a spinal injury into the community.
Whose idea is this?
The idea came in from Kenyan Paraplegic Organization (KPO). Kenyan Paraplegic Organization is a local charity founded in March 2004. It is registered under the NGOs Coordination Act (1990) of the Laws of Kenya with the mandate to enhance the welfare and quality of life of people living with traumas of spinal cord injury in Kenya.Majority of the members are people living with traumas of spinal cord injury including the now famous Zack. KPO thought that the best way to care for their members would be to have a center and hence that is how the idea of Bring Zack Back Home came up.
Who is Zack and has he gone to South Africa?
Zack was injured 8 years ago via a gunshot incident and is confined to a wheel chair. Zack is the face of the campaign having gone through the experience of living with the injury. KPO is using Zack to help them raise the money to build the facility.
How will work work and who owns it..,,
Yes, the money is crowd sourced so who will own the facility…the place will be owned by KPO. There will be two wings, the public and private wings. It will function like Kenyatta National Hospital, but KPO promise to run it like Privately owned place not like Government.. The idea of the Private wing is basically to help the center sustain itself .
Where does Safaricom fit in all these:
Personally at first I thought the campaign is owned by Safaricom but I found out that KPO approached Safaricom to help them raise the funds. Safaricom agreed to do so and that is why you can donate through MPESA and the other numbers you have seen around. Safaricom is using their digital PR team and some of their employees to help the KPO drive the Bring Zack Back Home campaign.
Back to the Center, here are some of the functions:
Once the acute stage of treatment is over and the person stabilized, they enter the phase of rehabilitation. During this phase, the main goal is returning as much function as possible to the person to enable them lead a near-normal life. Because all spinal cord injuries are different, a unique plan is designed to help the person function and succeed in everyday life. The plan includes:
Helping the person understand his/her injury and accept the condition
Helping the person understand his/her care and management
Help the person become as independent as possible in everyday activity(ies) such as bathing, eating, dressing, grooming and wheelchair use
Helping the person to accept the new lifestyle especially pertaining to sexual, recreational, and housing
Help the person learn how to instruct caregivers on how to assist them
Prepare them for vocational rehabilitation and training, and
Undertake regular research of the dynamics of spinal injury treatment and rehabilitation
The Rehabilitation Center is designed to provide individual support to their families at every level of recovery. It is focused on helping them to understand the independence the victim, compensate for deficits and to help them improve physical function and mobility of patients as well as help overcome both psychological and social problems that result from the injury. The primary objective is help their families understand the dynamics of the condition, how to deal with them and to provide necessary support