New wheelchair is ideal for disasters

PUBLISHED: 14:04 21 November 2013 | UPDATED: 14:04 21 November 2013

Motivation's wheelchair's to be used in the Philippines.

Motivation's wheelchair's to be used in the Philippines.

Archant

A BACKWELL charity has designed a new wheelchair to help save the lives of disabled and injured people affected by natural disasters.

Motivation is now appealing for the emergency response wheelchair to be given out to people in the Philippines to help those injured in typhoon Haiyan.

David Constantine, co-founder of Motivation, which is based in Brockley Lane, said: “Disabled people can be the most vulnerable in a disaster, and are often deprived of rescue and evacuation services.

“Losing family members or carers, losing assistive devices such as wheelchairs, and a lack of healthcare, can be devastating.

“Wheelchairs distributed in the aftermath of natural disasters are often second-hand hospital chairs which rarely meet international standards, and frequently arrive too late to make a difference.

“Motivation’s affordable, lightweight emergency wheelchair has the potential to change all that.”

In Haiti alone, an estimated 200,000 people were left disabled following the earthquake in 2010.

The wrong chair, or no chair, can leave injured victims unable to access basic relief services like shelter, food and water.

The new chair was developed in partnership with Handicap International and Johanniter International Assistance, and it is built to World Health Organisation guidelines.

It is robust, easy to use in difficult terrain and highly visible to give disabled people more chance of being seen and rescued.

Motivation hopes aid agencies will deploy the chair in situations like typhoon Haiyan, where the severely injured and disabled are at the highest risk.

Aid agencies will also be given training to enable them to assemble and fit the wheelchairs.

Motivation is an international mobility charity which provides equipment and training to disabled people across the world.


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