AFGHANISTAN / CAIRO NANSEN REFUGEE AWARD

19-Sep-2019 00:03:43
Alberto Cairo has been awarded the Nansen Refugee Award’s regional winner prize for Asia this year in tribute to his remarkable career helping disabled Afghans. UNHCR
Size
Format
Acquire
N/A
Hi-Res formats
DESCRIPTION
STORY: AFGHANISTAN / CAIRO NANSEN REFUGEE AWARD
TRT: 3:43
SOURCE: UNHCR
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT UNHCR ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 13 JULY 2019, KABUL, AFGHANISTAN
SHOTLIST
1.Med shot, Alberto Cairo walking towards patients inside the ICRC centre in Kabul
2.Various shots, Alberto checking on patien while he tries to walk up the bump
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Alberto Cairo, physiotherapist, ICRC Orthopaedic Centre:
“Of course, there are disabilities that we cannot do anything. But there is always something to do. I mean, there is always a little way to improve the life.”
4.Various shots, Alberto with his staff member checking a patient
5. Various sots, Alberto and his kid patient walking on bars
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Alberto Cairo, physiotherapist, ICRC Orthopaedic Centre:
“We have still quite a stable number of people that are direct war victims - victims of landmines, victims of bullets, shrapnel, IEDs.”
7. Various sots, Alberto and his kid patient walking on bars
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Alberto Cairo, physiotherapist, ICRC Orthopaedic Centre:
“In a way everybody's a victim of war in Afghanistan because if this health system doesn't work well enough, it is because of the war.”
9. Various shots child with cerebral palsy
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Alberto Cairo, physiotherapist, ICRC Orthopaedic Centre:
“It's good for the person, the disabled person, because it's really difficult in Afghanistan for a disabled to find a job. It's good for the new patients coming. Sometimes they come depressed or sad because they are in a dreadful situation, and they see that the one opening the door is a someone without a hand. The one registering the names is someone sitting on a wheelchair. The one taking the cast for the prosthesis is an amputee. The physiotherapist may be missing two legs. This person is start thinking, ‘What is going on here?’ and then maybe thinks, ‘If they manage, I can manage, too.’”
11. Wide shot, Fahim walking
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Fahim, Anesthetist:
I was a small boy when a mine exploded on me. And this man helped me to finish school, to learn education. After, to learn nursing school. After, anesthesia school.”
13. Various shots, Alberto Cairo chatting with Fahim and discussing his walk.
STORYLINE
Alberto Cairo has been awarded the Nansen Refugee Award’s regional winner prize for Asia this year in tribute to his remarkable career helping disabled Afghans.

Cairo, a native Italian, has spent nearly 30 years in Afghanistan, braving unceasing conflict to provide physical therapy, prosthetics and wheelchairs, and personalised care to many thousands, including returned refugees and the internally displaced.

SOUNDBITE (English) Alberto Cairo, physiotherapist, ICRC Orthopedic Centre:
“We have still quite a stable number of people that are direct war victims - victims of landmines, victims of bullets, shrapnel, IEDs.”

SOUNDBITE (English) Alberto Cairo, physiotherapist, ICRC Orthopedic Centre:
“In a way everybody's a victim of war in Afghanistan because if this health system doesn't work well enough, it is because of the war.”

For nearly 30 years, Alberto Cairo has helped disabled Afghans to “find harmony” in their bodies. The seven orthopedic clinics he runs for the International Committee of the Red Cross provide free and expert treatment that a public health system ravaged by 40 years of war cannot. They have registered some 185,000 patients in 30 years of service, including nearly 50,000 amputees. Under his leadership, the ICRC centres have expanded to offer extensive physical therapy and custom prosthetics – and even more than that. They also give patients a chance to get a formal education, engage in sports, receive work training – and even find a job.

SOUNDBITE (English) Alberto Cairo, physiotherapist, ICRC Orthopedic Centre:
“It's good for the person, the disabled person, because it's really difficult in Afghanistan for a disabled to find a job. It's good for the new patients coming. Sometimes they come depressed or sad because they are in a dreadful situation, and they see that the one opening the door is a someone without a hand. The one registering the names is someone sitting on a wheelchair. The one taking the cast for the prosthesis is an amputee. The physiotherapist may be missing two legs. This person is start thinking, ‘What is going on here?’ and then maybe thinks, ‘If they manage, I can manage, too.’”

Fahim met Cairo 26 years ago when he sought treatment from the physiotherapist.

SOUNDBITE (English) Fahim, Anesthetist:
“I was a small boy when a mine exploded on me. And this man helped me to finish school, to learn education. After, to learn nursing school. After, anesthesia school.”

Alberto Cairo trained first as a lawyer, but says a passion he had long nurtured for physiotherapy won over, and he returned to study the discipline. After training in his native Italy, and time in England and France, he worked for three years in South Sudan, which he says was the best training for his future work in Afghanistan.

Cairo arrived in Afghanistan in 1990, and has since made his home there, splitting his time between the seven ICRC orthopaedic centres. More than half of his work is done at the largest of them, in Kabul, which provides care for up to 700 patients each day, some new and many returning. No one who can be treated is turned away, and all services are provided free of charge at the rehabilitation centre, which is entirely funded by the ICRC.

Initially, Cairo worked in a hospital focused on war victims. When the hospital was handed to the Afghan government, Cairo opened the first ICRC centre, in Kabul, and made its services available to all patients. Today, only about 10 per cent of patients are amputees from war injuries – though Cairo argues that all patients in Afghanistan are victims of war, as the country’s healthcare and protection systems have been weakened by protracted conflict. An increasing number of patients now are children suffering congenital problems like cerebral palsy, which Cairo estimates concerns roughly a third of all patients.

The Kabul centre employs roughly 300 staff – the vast majority of them disabled, since Cairo instated a policy of “positive discrimination” in favor of those with disabilities. Many staff are, in fact, former or current patients, a fact that makes it easier to train them, according to Cairo.

Many patients are internally displaced and many are also returned refugees. UNHCR estimates there are as many as two million IDPs in Afghanistan today. Meanwhile, more than 5.2 million Afghans refugees have opted to return to their country since 2002, facilitated by UNHCR’s largest facilitated voluntary repatriation programme.

To honour his services in Afghanistan, President Asrar Ghani in July granted Afghan citizenship to Dr Alberto Cairo.

With the 2019 Nansen Refugee Award, UNHCR is honouring remarkable individuals and groups who go to extraordinary lengths to help forcibly displaced people in need. Five regional winners were chosen from more than 200 nominees shortlisted for the prestigious annual prize. The main global winner of the Nansen Refugee Award, who is not amongst those honoured with a regional award, will be revealed on 2 October, and honoured in a ceremony in Geneva on 7 October.
Category
Geographic Subjects
Source
Alternate Title
unifeed190919b