VNAH has distributed over 3,000 wheelchairs to the most severely disabled across the country. High priority categories for the receipt of wheelchairs have been double amputees, students crippled by polio and other severely disabled persons who are able to navigate a wheelchair. We are particularly pleased with the important strides we have made in quality of wheelchairs manufactured in Viet Nam. With a special grant from The Freeman Foundation, VNAH has provided technical assistance to both government-owned and private wheelchair manufacturers in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta in their design and production of wheelchairs. Under this special grant, VNAH will be able to deliver over 6,000 quality wheelchairs to amputees in Central region of Vietnam. These manufacturers are now able to produce a high quality wheelchair at a relatively low price.
This is a wheelchair that benefited with some features from the design by Whirlwind Wheelchair International (WWI) and Viet Nam Veterans of America Foundation (VVAF) for conditions in Southeast Asia; similar to those found in Viet Nam. The wheelchair has a rigid frame and solid rubber tires. It is being tested by the US Veteran Administration Research and Development Center in Pittsburgh, PA. It also has been field tested and proven to operate well under local conditions and to be popular with the user. To be included in VNAH’s program, the manufacturers must accept and observe the VNAH specifications.
To date, VNAH provided wheelchairs have been delivered to poor beneficiaries in the Central and Southern regions of Viet Nam. With some expansion of this program and more actual experience it seems perfectly feasible for us to help facilitate the manufacture of economical, high quality wheelchairs for private sector sales in Viet Nam and elsewhere in South East Asia.
The Freeman Foundation Helps VNAH Care for War and Landmine Survivors
The Freeman Foundation has continued to support VNAH’s wheelchairs and prosthetic and orthotic program in the southern region of Viet-Nam. This region has a large population of war and landmine survivors who are still isolated. VNAH’s outreach projects deliver much needed wheelchairs and prosthetic/orthotic rehabilitation service to distant districts of Tay Ninh, Binh Phuoc, Ben Tre, Binh Thuan, Ninh Thuan and Ba Ria provinces. Since the spring of this year, VNAH has delivered over 2,500 wheelchairs to landmine victims and people who are severely disabled.