Watch: Helping disabled civilians get back on their feet in Afghanistan

Watch: Helping disabled civilians get back on their feet in Afghanistan
Copyright Maryam Majd, euronews
By Fariba Pajooh & Alice Cuddy
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Alberto Cairo tells Euronews that rehabilitation is about more than artificial limbs.


Alberto Cairo has helped tens of thousands of disabled civilians in Afghanistan get back on their feet since moving to the country almost 29 years ago.

The Italian physiotherapist, who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, runs the International Committee of the Red Cross’ rehabilitation programme in the country.

Staff at the programme’s orthopaedic centres make artificial limbs for victims of bombs, landmines and accidents. They are met with a constant flow of patients in the war-torn country who need their help.

“Our main job is to provide disabled people — men and women — with physical rehabilitation,” Cairo tells Euronews.

But, he says, rehabilitation is about more than providing people with new arms or legs.

“Whenever possible [we try] to help them to be socially integrated with jobs, with going to school, with small activities."

Following the treatment, which is free of charge, Cairo says staff try to stay in touch with their former patients “to make sure that they go back into the society with a proper role and function.”

In evidence of this commitment, some 730 former patients now work as staff at the rehabilitation centres.

Cairo describes this as their “biggest achievement”.

You can watch the interview in full by clicking on the player above.

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