THE WEEKLY visits of the College of Rehabilitation Sciences (CRS) since last year to the elderly and children of the Missionaries of Charity, a shelter for mostly abandoned and sick people in Tayuman, Manila, inspired the college to build its own rehabilitation center opening last Nov. 2.

The center caters to almost 80 children in the shelter who are suffering from diseases such as cerebral palsy, autism, and global development delay—conditions that cause the kids to have limited or no control of their bones and muscles.

“We focused on the children because we felt that they needed our help more than the elderly do,” said CRS professor Lucy Magtoto, head of the rehabilitation center. “But we are also eyeing the possibility of eventually rehabilitating even the elderly in the future.”

The nuns in the Missionaries of Charity, an order founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta, welcomed the services of CRS to rehabilitate the children.

“We have caregivers but they cannot give the therapy the children need,” said one nun. “The treatment the children get from the interns is very effective.”

CRS professor Lucy Magtoto said the children are screened by doctors to determine who needs rehabilitation. The Occupational Therapy (O.T.) and Physical Therapy (P.T.) interns, on the other hand, devise a treatment plan for the children after producing a comprehensive evaluation of the children’s disorders.

Although the rehabilitation center is just part of the interns’, some of them said the children made them realize how lucky they were. “Some of these kids were even found in dump sites,” Edenlei Bautista, a fifth-year P.T. interns, said.

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“Seeing the kids regularly, and seeing them smile each time we give them therapy have attached me to them,” Irene Fontanilla, a fifth-year O.T. intern, said. Ivan Angelo L. de Lara

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