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International Partnerships

A young physiotherapist improves lives in Afghanistan

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Ms. Roshana is a young woman who lives in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar. She trained as a physiotherapist with EU support, and is now benefitting her community through her skills and knowledge.

Only a few schools for girls operate in the conservative and war-torn region, but Ms. Roshana was able to train as a physiotherapist thanks to the EU-funded project 'Towards Improved Access to Quality Physical Rehabilitation in Afghanistan' (TIQRA). Half of her 242 co-students were women.

When she graduated from the three-year diploma programme in 2019, Ms. Roshana was immediately offered employment by the local Mirwais Hospital. She also received mentoring from the TIQRA project.

One of Ms. Roshana’s patients in the hospital is baby Mohammad Ibrahim, whose clubfoot she is treating using the Ponseti method. She will continue the therapy for several months until the malformation is fully corrected and Mohammed can learn to walk like other children. Her treatment has already very nearly healed the clubfoot of another little patient, Ali Jan.

A young physiotherapist in Afghanistan
Roshana treating baby Mohammad Ibrahim
I am so happy that I have become a professional physiotherapist. I love to provide physiotherapy services to people with disabilities, especially children.
- Ms. Roshana

Her meaningful job has made her life more stable and secure and gained her the respect of her community. Her parents are very proud of their daughter and her achievements. Ms. Roshana can support them, help vulnerable people in the community, and be a positive example to other young women in Kandahar.

Baby Mohammad Ibrahim treated by young physiotherapist Roshana
Baby Mohammad Ibrahim being treated by Ms. Roshana

About the project

There is an acute shortage of physiotherapists in Afghanistan. After more than four decades of armed conflicts, many Afghans bear injuries: more than one million people living in the country suffer from a physical disability. Physiotherapy can help them restore movement and function.

The TIQRA project is funded by the European Union and implemented by Handicap International. It has a special focus on reaching out to vulnerable communities in remote areas of Kandahar and Herat provinces.