When somebody sustains a spinal cord injury (SCI), they will need anything from three months to a couple of years of rehabilitation in a hospital before they are ready to go back into normal life. This rehabilitation will teach the person how to manage the physical aspects of their disability, such as bladder and bowel function, use of a wheelchair and other assistive devices, and pressure care, as well as giving them resources to address issues such as independent living, employment and sexual options.
As a developing country, South Africa does not have the resources necessary to provide a high level of rehabilitation in government hospitals. QASA has a role to play in improving the quality of the care offered in government hospitals and in providing resources to both the patients and the medical professionals involved in the rehabilitation process.
Bags of Hope Project
Once people leave a rehabilitation centre, they often have no further resources to assist them to cope with the changes in their lives. QASA and Coloplast have launched a project called Bags of Hope, which provides a bag full of information to each person being discharged from a rehabilitation unit.
Bags of Hope Logo
The bag contains samples of the healthcare products needed to manage quadriplegia or paraplegia, such as catheters. It also contains information on spinal cord injury and its consequences, coping with mobility impairment, sexuality and sexual options after SCI, and the rights of people with disabilities. The publications are also available in isiZulu format and in a pictorial format for people who cannot read.
These bags are distributed by Coloplast representatives all over the country.