As Namibia celebrates another milestone of its 33rd independence attainment, the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund has reaffirmed its commitment to rendering assistance to all its Seriously Injured Patients, ensuring that they receive optimal support on their journey to independence.
These were the remarks of the Motor Fund Manager of Corporate Communication and Stakeholder Relations Hilaria Graig, in celebrating all its Seriously Injured Patients who strive to return to normalcy and restore their quality of life after sustaining life-changing injuries in a motor vehicle crash.
“The path to normal life is not easy, hence it remains the Fund’s priority to ensure that SIPs receive optimal support on their journey to independence” Graig said.
She said that independence comes in different forms and means different things to different people, she added saying that for those who sustained serious injuries in motor vehicle crashes, independence means being able to walk and run again, being able to bathe without assistance, being able to play, go to work or school and just being able to live an independent and productive life, in the wake of our country’s 33 years of Independence.
She narrated the story of 12-year-old Junias Shafuda who lives with his parents in Windhoek, a story of hope, courage and the definition of breaking barriers on the road to independence. On the 12 of August 2020, Junias was involved in a head-on collision and suffered severe Poly-trauma with Spinal cord injury.
The severity and nature of the injuries he sustained meant that he will have to rely on others to carry out Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as eating, dressing, bathing and using the toilet.
However, due to his incredible strength and will to recover at such a young age, coupled with the unwavering support from the Fund’s Rehabilitation Team and his family, Shafuda regained his independence after months of intensive rehabilitation and physiotherapy sessions.
“This grade seven learner who is now wheelchair-bound due to the paralysis in his lower limbs after the life-changing crash is now able to carry out most essential activities by himself”, Graig said.
Furthermore, she added saying that the jovial tween independently operates his manual wheelchair for mobility and even though he can no longer run around and play with friends, he is grateful that he can still use his hands to throw a ball. The biggest rehabilitation goal for Junias was to return to school, which he successfully achieved a few months after his injury and is now a proud grade 7 learner positively embracing his new journey.
“I am happy for what the MVA Fund has done for me. They fixed our house and gave me a wheelchair, so I was able to go back to school again,” Junias shared.
The Fund modified the Shafuda family house in Wanaheda, Katutura to help him move around independently and as practicably safely as possible. Graig added that house medication is a key aspect of social rehabilitation and goes to the core of the Fund’s vision of ‘supporting claimants’ journey to independence.
The father of the 12-year-old lauded the Fund for its support during their ordeal and urged the Fund to continue assisting road crash survivors. “I am happy with the support provided to my son ever since the accident occurred. He was in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for almost two months and I thought he will never be the same again. Now, after rehabilitation, my son is a happy boy who likes throwing a ball with other children.
He added by saying that Shafuda is smart and well-behaved. When asked whether they are encountering any problems with the boy’s journey to recovery, his father stated that they currently don’t have any problems as most of their problems are promptly addressed by his MVA Fund Case Manager. “When we see a problem, we call his Case Manager, who makes sure that the problem is resolved immediately. We are thankful for her assistance,” said the optimistic father.
Meanwhile, in line with its commitment to rehabilitate all seriously injured persons and return them to independence, Graig reaffirmed that the Fund continues to monitor and evaluate the progress of all SIPs, to ensure that they reach their optimal level of function after a motor vehicle crash.
“As we celebrate 33 years of Independence and honour those whose blood watered our freedom, let us remember to uphold favourable road user behaviour through self-policing and adherence to road traffic rules”.
The public is further urged to report all motor vehicle crashes to the Fund’s Toll-Free Accident Response Number 9682. The Fund provides an injury grant to the value of up to N$100 000, this is a cash grant that serves as compensation for injured persons only.
The Fund does not allocate N$1.5 million to every injured person, however, it is permitted by law to spend a maximum of N$1.5 million on medical treatments for all seriously injured people.