The Swedish Research Council grants SEK 2.6 million to researcher at Jönköping University - in support of Cambodia

Nerrolyn Ramstrand, professor at the School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, has for many years worked to support orthopedic technology projects in low- and middle-income countries in Africa and Asia. She and a group of international researchers have now received funding from the Swedish Research Council to develop a work that has begun in Cambodia.

Professor Nerrolyn Ramstrand on site in Cambodia during the pilot project that preceded the mental screening project that is starting now.

The research project in Cambodia aims to support the mental health of people with physical disabilities. The region has had the highest proportions of disabled people in the world because of political conflicts that left the country with a high number of landmines in the 1960s and 70s. These have since remained for decades and injured a large part of the population.

“Individuals with disabilities face many obstacles in low- and middle-income countries. There may be limited access to care, education, and the labor market. Together, these obstacles pose a greater risk for poverty,” Nerrolyn Ramstrand explains.

People with disabilities also have a greater risk of experiencing a secondary health problem, physical or mental. These people are often among the poorest of the poor. Therefore, researchers will address the poorest and most vulnerable individuals who have a combination of physical and mental disorders.

“Our overall objective is to develop and implement a sustainable screening and support program for people with physical disabilities who also have mental health problems and thereby improve their health and well-being. We believe that the project can increase the opportunity for them to participate in society in a more equal way and reduce the risk of them living in poverty. On a later stage we also want to be able to transfer the program for use in other low- and middle-income countries. Then more people can be helped,” says Nerrolyn Ramstrand.

Co-applicants in the project are:

Dr. Paul Best, Queen’s University, UK
Nil Ean, Lecturer, EMDR Association Cambodia
Sisary Kheng, Masterexamen, Exceed-Worldwide,
Dr. Alan Maddock, Trinity College Dublin, Irland