Mental and physical therapy in the aftermath of violence

"’m more motivated to do my physiotherapy sessions by myself because I can see the difference it is making to my life." HI.

‍Iraq | 2021 | CBPF

Iraq, Mosul. Hamid is 30 years old. He used to live with his family in a village outside of Mosul before fighting started. The family had their own house and sheep, that provided a good income. When airstrikes destroyed their house in 2017, Hamid and his family fled their village. They stayed in Jada’a camp for a year and a half before returning to Mosul.

After losing their house and animals to the conflict, Hamid and his family had to start from zero to rebuild their life. Upon returning to Mosul, they rented a house. Without a stable income, they could not afford to buy furniture and even buying food and other basic items became a struggle. In October 2020, during a moment of frustration, Hamid slammed a door, causing severe damage to his spinal cord, paralyzing him from the neck down.

‘’I did not attempt to hurt myself, but the accident happened in a second and the result was unexpected,” says Hamid. “After the accident, I faced more difficulties, both physically and psychologically. Even though I was surrounded by family and friends who supported me, I felt alone alone…due to my disability.’’

Handicap International (HI), an international NGO partner of the Iraq Humanitarian Fund, received $343,258.70 through the Fund’s 2021 first Standard Allocation to implement a health and protection project to provide physical therapy and mental health services to disabled returnees, displaced people and community members, as well as their caregivers, in Mosul.

When visiting Bab el Baith primary health care centre (PHCC), Hamid’s brother noticed a signboard about HI’s services provided in the centre and told Hamid. The PHCC then referred Hamid directly to HI, which provided eight physiotherapy and MHPSS sessions at his home. HI also supported Hamid’s brother, who is his caregiver, by demonstrating movements he can practice with Hamid to continue his physiotherapy.

Hamid now feels more optimistic and his physical condition continues to improve. Hamid says: ‘’My mental health improved after receiving the psychosocial support. I sleep better, eat better, and I’m more motivated to do my physiotherapy sessions by myself because I can see the difference it is making to my life. For example, a few months ago, I could not move my hands, but after receiving physiotherapy sessions, I feel much better and am able to use my hand for my daily needs. Therefore, I always encourage people to seek psychosocial support.’’

Through this project, HI could reach 492 people, including 230 people with disabilities who benefited from integrated physical therapy and MHPSS services like Hamid did. In addition, HI trained 31 local health professionals on basic rehabilitation skills and management of patients with physical disabilities.


More information on the Iraq Humanitarian Fund: