WHAT WE DO
Poor health, malnutrition, and difficulties accessing proper health care can undermine people’s potential to improve their lives, especially for people with disabilities.
Through our Health Program, we are working to ensure that people with disabilities living in affected post-war countries receive the wide-ranging health and medical support they need.
In rural Vietnam and Laos access to health care for people with disabilities is challenging. Most families caring for severely disabled children live below the poverty line and do not have the resources to access specialized health care and rehabilitation services to address the specific needs of their children.
Between 1961 and 1971, the U.S. sprayed 12 million gallons of Dioxin-contaminated Agent Orange, in addition to 8 million gallons of other herbicides, on Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia—an average of 5,200 gallons a day for 3,735 days.
And more than seven million tons of bombs were dropped, as part of the U.S. airpower-dominated aerial war, on Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia. Millions of these bombs did not detonate upon impact.
Today, many suffer from disabilities and illnesses caused by the toxic legacies of Agent Orange and other herbicides. And hundreds, every year, fall victim to these explosive remnants of war.
War Legacies Project has helped people, especially youth and young adults living with a disability
or illness advocate for themselves, access healthcare and rehabilitation services, find specialists and receive the proper care. We have worked with communities, centers and other local health institutions, to enable people with disabilities to receive the best care possible. We also support skilled health and medical providers.
How we get there:
Wheelchairs and Prosthetics
We provide special equipment, such as wheelchairs and prosthetics, for youth and adults living with a disability or a missing limb. We also provide assistance through physical and occupational therapy, through partnerships with local and provincial medical schools, so that all can manage their particular conditions and walk, write or feed themselves.
Surgery and Medical Care
We help to increase the access to health institutions for many—children and adults—living in rural areas of Viet Nam and Laos by providing transportation or subsidizing travel costs. We also provide financial assistance to ensure that all can undergo necessary surgery to repair congenital heart defects, club foot, cleft palate, and other birth defects, as well as treatments for dialysis and other chronic illnesses.
We are establishing a home health care program in collaboration with the local Red Cross volunteers. Trained medical professionals will provide frequent well-being check-ups, train family care-givers in techniques to make feeding, bathing and lifting easier and safer.