Helping hand for athletes

KUALA LUMPUR: Sports can be physical. Broken bones and bruises are quite common and doctors are often on call.  

But when the athletes are of the disabled kind as at the Fespic Games, more is needed. And Otto Bock Healthcare, a leading supplier of products for people with limited mobility, are on hand to help. 

BIG HELP: Otto Bock Healthcare technicalofficial Merge Anton is repairing the wheel of awheelchair at the main centre in Bukit Jalil.

The company have set up five centres, equipped with tools for orthopaedic aid including equipment to weld broken frames on basketball wheelchairs and adjusting prosthetic joints for sprinters, among other things. 

The main centre is at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil and the other four centres are at venues of wheelchair tennis, wheelchair basketball, archery and badminton. 

Gunter Schumann, the service centre organising director said that they have been providing the services for free since the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games. 

“We provide services in all major championships in the world whether it’s summer or winter Paralympics. We handle about 1,000 repairs for major Games,” said Schumann, who arrived with his team of 16 technician last week. 

At the Athens Paralympic Games in 2004, he said Otto Bock service technicians performed 2,500 “technical interventions”.  

For the Fespic Games, a total of 16 orthopaedic technicians from Germany, Malaysia, Thailand and China will be manning the centres. Like in every sport, there are injuries of the physical sort as well. To that end, Masterskill College of Nursing and Health, a private nursing and healthcare training centre here, are providing RM500,000 worth of medical support services to the Games. 

The college is providing 500 nursing students to assist in the Games for the disabled. 

In addition, there would be 12 staff nurses, 12 teams of physiotherapy students and six qualified physiotherapists, said Datuk Dr Mohd Yahya Nordin, Chairman of Masterskill (M) Sdn Bhd. 

The college have also set up five “Nightingale Stations” complete with beds, chairs and tables and first aid kits at various venues.  

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