Why disability?
CCBRT Disability Hospital
mHealth
Advocacy

Why disability?

In a country of 45 million people, it is estimated that 3.5million people in Tanzania live with a disability. People with disabilities are often among the poorest and most marginalised in society. Disability can have a significant impact upon the quality of a child’s education. The WHO estimates that, in 51 countries, only 51% of boys and 42% of girls with disabilities will complete their primary school education. This seriously limits the development of these children, as they lose access to information, are unable to socialise with their peers and are unable to develop the skills they require to seek employment and contribute to their family and the wider economy. The illiteracy rate among Tanzanians with a disability is 48%, compared to 25% among people without disabilities.

The exclusion of people with disabilities from the workplace, either through discrimination or inaccessible work environments, costs Tanzania $480 million every year - 3.76% of the country’s GDP. Beyond the impact on GDP, people with disabilities often live in severe poverty due to the challenge of securing a steady income to support themselves and their families and discrimination from their communities and wider society. CCBRT recognises the challenges that people with disabilities and their families are confronted with on a daily basis. We do everything we can to alleviate the obstacles, improve quality of life and empower people with disabilities to fulfil their potential.

 

 

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3.5million

CCBRT Disability Hospital

After seven years of focus upon Community Based Rehabilitation, it became clear that many conditions with which CCBRT’s clients were living could be corrected with simple surgical procedures. It was unnecessary for so many of our clients to be living with disabilities due to the lack of access to essential surgical care. In 2001, with the full support of the Government of Tanzania, we opened the CCBRT Disability Hospital. After 13 years of service to the people of Tanzania, the reputable 200 bed CCBRT Disability Hospital provides surgical and outpatient services for ophthalmology (eye), obstetric fistula, orthopaedics and reconstructive surgery and anaesthesia. In 2013, CCBRT conducted or facilitated over 11,000 life changing surgeries.

CCBRT remains true to its founding principles of cure before care, young before old, near before far. All children under 5 years of age, obstetric fistula and cleft lip/palate patients are treated free of charge. Other services are heavily subsidised. Financial sustainability is critical to our long-term success, and CCBRT’s Private Clinic is central to this. At the Private Clinic, we see patients who are able to pay more using the same doctors and high quality care, offering them the convenience of appointments and fast track service. This income stream generates revenue that subsidises the treatment of our poorer patients.

CCBRT has not forgotten its roots in Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR). Our comprehensive community programme, with bases in Dar es Salaam and Moshi, supports the clinical efforts of the Disability Hospital through awareness raising, early identification and referrals, mobile outreach and the provision of rehabilitation and support programmes according to the WHO CBR matrix.

Learn more about our 20 year history of changing lives and communities.

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Over 11,000

life changing surgeries in 2013

mHealth

CCBRT aims to remove as many barriers to medical treatment as possible, which is why we subsidise our services. But cost of treatment is not the only barrier our clients face. The cost of transport to Dar es Salaam is often enough to prevent people from receiving the treatment they desperately need.  CCBRT is addressing this issue through the power of mobile technology.

Using Vodafone M-PESA, a mobile money transfer system, we send the cost of transport to patients or their caregivers via a network of trained ambassadors. In the first year that Vodafone M-PESA was introduced into our referral system, we saw a 65% increase in the number of women treated for obstetric fistula. In 2013, 72% of obstetric fistula patients and 66% of cleft lip/palate patients were referred to us via M-PESA.

Asha's life was changed by this innovative mHealth solution. Hear her story.

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72%

of obstetric fistula patients referred via M-PESA in 2013

Advocacy

Physical impairment is not the only contributing factor to disability. Our clients also face environmental and social barriers. This means that policies need to be introduced and implemented to protect people with disabilities, and people with disabilities need to be empowered to understand and exercise their rights. Our technical expertise, strong presence in the community and national and international recognition enables us to strategically advocate for the rights of people with disabilities in Tanzania. Our Advocacy Unit conducts research, lobbies the government and other development actors, and facilitates trainings in disability awareness. We have been very active in ensuring that the rights of people with disabilities are recognised and protected in the recent redrafting of the Tanzanian Constitution, as well as ensuring that organisations are aware of their legal obligations regarding the employment of people with disabilities.

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USD 480million

The amount discrimination and inaccessible workplaces cost the Tanzanian economy every year