Bahiana makes a difference in the ParaPraia project

Physiotherapy students and teachers perform assisted baths in the sea. Initiative continues until February at Ondina beach.


“When the sea breaks on the beach, it's beautiful, it's beautiful...” So, like Dorival Caymmi, many believe in the transforming, purifying and liberating power of the sea. Allied to the sun, bathing in the sea is one of the few free leisure activities offered by the city of Salvador. However, many difficulties arise when the audience for this summer program is people with disabilities. Assisting and encouraging the inclusion of this audience is the main objective of the ParaPraia project, a project carried out by the Municipality of Salvador, through the Sustainable City Secretariat, which was launched on Saturday, January 25, at Ondina beach.  

The initiative has the support of Escola Bahiana de Medicina e Saúde Pública, which participates with the performance of teachers and students of the Physiotherapy course, giving all the support of assisted sea bathing. The first day was a success, exceeding project expectations. Politicians, representatives of supporters and the local press were present at the launching ceremony. In addition to the Physiotherapy students, professors Cláudia Furtado and Cíntia Silva and the course coordinator, Prof. Luciana Bilitário were also present.

For the ex-patient of the Physiotherapy Clinic of the Teaching-Care Outpatient Clinic of Bahiana, Paulo Ivo França de Matos e Matos, 33, was a very enriching activity.  "I was a patient of the Bahiana as soon as I had the car accident. I loved it. Then people called me and told me about this project and I came, because I participate in everything for my improvement”. 

To Felipe Simões, 3rd semester student of Physiotherapy at Bahiana and physically handicapped, the initiative is extremely positive. “When I go to the beach it's quite complicated, because I need to be carried and I also need a special chair that I don't have”. This was the first time he had participated in an assisted bathing in the sea.

Evilásio Francisco dos Santos, 44, a patient at the Bahia Rehabilitation Institute (IBR), says he always goes to Ondina beach, but reports the difficulty of the physically handicapped in having access to bathing in the sea. “And I would like it to expand to all of Salvador. I have been watching actions like this on TV in other cities and I was waiting for the day I would arrive here”.

To the coordinator of the Physiotherapy course at Bahiana, Luciana Bilitário, this initiative is essential for a safe bathing in the sea. She explains that, despite the willingness of family members and caregivers, bathing in the sea for the disabled increases the risk of accidents and new injuries and, therefore, needs to be controlled. "Depending, for example, on muscle tone, a person can float very fast or sink," he told Terra. (See full article)

Click here to see the photos.

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