Our Journey

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Industrial Rehabilitation Centre (IRC )

The journey of APDK can be traced back to the early 1950’s when three corporate professionals, Sir Derek Arskine, Mr Humprey Slade and Hon. Dr. A. A. Moody Awori, appalled by the living conditions of War Veterans maimed in the 2nd World War, came together to help them begin a journey of economic empowerment. This led to the establishment of APDK in 1958 and the launching of the 1st Vocational Rehabilitation Centre for persons with disabilities in Kenya located on Mbagathi Way that offered skills development. The Centre was later handed over to the government’s Ministry of Social Services in 1971 and renamed Industrial Rehabilitation Centre.

Industrial Rehabilitation Centre hand over in 1971 Mobile clinic in the 1960’s
Mobile clinic in the 1960’s

Children’s Orthopedic Clinic

APDK played a major role awareness creation and management of poliomyelitis (Polio) leading to the establishment of a Children’s Orthopedic Clinic in November 1962, a Mrs. Spencer, raised funds for the construction of a Children’s Orthopedic Clinic at Lagos Road to provide therapy services to children with disabilities. By the end 1963, the 1st phase of the Clinic was completed and formally opened by Mr. Charles Rubia.

Funds were provided by REDD BARNA of Norway for children requiring surgery, and OXFAM for wheelchairs. In 1975 the foundation stone was laid for the extension of the Children’s Orthopaedic Clinic, financed by Lions Club of Nairobi Central which was completed in 1978.

The first Ministry of Health personnel, an Occupational Therapist, was attached to APDK in 1976 and in 1978 the first Kenya trained Physiotherapist was seconded to APDK, assigned to the Children’s Clinic by Kenyatta National Hospital. Ever since, the Ministry of Health has attached Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists to the APDK Clinic. These dedicated staff are the backbone of the services provided by APDK to people with disabilities country wide

Orthopaedic Workshop

In 1966, the need for an Orthopedic workshop was identified to provide walking appliances to persons with disabilities. A leather worker was employed who produced calipers and boots at the Government Orthopedic Workshop at Kabete.

In 1983, APDK acquired a Workshop Manager and Planning Consultant through NORAD to help with the administration and to develop the orthopaedic services of the Association. The workshop was moved to Lagos Road and in 1984 the production of artificial limbs commenced.

In 1999, VSO donated Kshs. 1 million for training and new machines and therapy equipments.

The new workshop at Kabete is the largest unit for orthotics, crutches, wheelchairs and tricycles in Kenya. Annually over 2,000 appliances and 700 wheelchairs/tricycles are produced and given to mainly poor persons with disabilities. Most of the wheelchairs are sponsored by local and overseas organizations and the private sector. Plans are underway to construct a larger wheelchair workshop to increase the monthly production capacity to 200 units.

Nile Road Special School

In 1964, a Special School was started at the clinic to offer education to children with physical disabilities. Two more classrooms were built at the school in 1967, it was soon realized that the space at the clinic was too small for a full stream Primary School. The Nairobi City Council agreed to allocate a plot of land at Nile Road off Jogoo Road. The first phase of the Nile Road Special School was constructed and officially opened by the City Education Officer in 1969. The school was handed over to the City Council in 1971.

Mobile Orthopaedic Clinics

To reach people with disabilities in the rural areas of Kenya, Mobile Orthopedic Clinics commenced in Eastern Province in 1966. During the 1970‘s, Mobile Outreach Clinics were established at Coast, Western, Nyanza and Rift Valley Provinces. The number of Mobile Orthopaedic Clinics increased to 136 following the purchase of vehicles.

Initially volunteer Therapists from Denmark, Holland and Norway were running the Mobile clinics but they were eventually 70% were handed over to Government Therapists in the District and Provincial Hospitals.

Read more Click on buttons below to download APDK Programs History and APDK History Chronologically.

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