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Pacific Stars & Stripes, March 11, 1953

Mercy Team Maps Aid for Korea Cripples

Board Plans Help for Paraplegics,Children Made Orphans In Fighting

By PFC Ray Waterkotte

Tokyo, Mar. 11 (Pac. S&S)- A six-member American team, here to study the problems of South Korea's cripples and orphans, left Tokyo airport at 7 a.m. today for a week-long look at the embattled republic's maimed.

Getting amputees "on their feet again" and instituting a program for paraplegics-persons paralyzed below the waist-is the first target for the newly established American-Korean Foundation, Dr. Howard A. Rusk said yesterday in a news conference here.

Dr. Rusk, who said he had made similar studies for the United Nations in Austria and Israel, is director of the Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, New York University-Bellevue Medical Center.

Stating it was still too early to define the scope of the problem, Rusk added: "This is not a survey. When we come back, we'll tell people what we propose to do-action-wise."

The foundation, which already has received a donation of 15 tons of antibiotics from American laboratories, will hold a general meeting Apr. 8 to vote on an appropriations program to finance its activities in Korea.

Comparing the problems of the paraplegics in Korea to those in the United States after World War I, Rusk said that Korea has no program yet to rehabilitate soldiers paralyzed below the waist. The American-Korean Foundation will start one.

Rusk spelled out the immediate aims of the foundation as: 1) Training Koreans to manufacture and teach the use of artificial limbs. 2) Start a program to train amputees in some type of work. 3) Institute a program in sedentary handwork for paraplegics. 4) See what must be done for the country's war orphans.

This rehabilitation program, backed by private funds, includes both ROK civilians and veterans.

Rusk keynoted the entire program by saying, "We'll have to translate American techniques into more primitive methods. We'll have to find equipment that takes the least repair. For example, we'll have to develop an artificial leg that can stand up in a rice paddy."

The doctor stated that an American team will probably go to Korea to work with that country's maimed, while some Koreans are being trained in the United States. When the South Koreans return, they will teach other citizens of that country in working with amputees and paraplegics.

The Rusk mission, the first medical rehabilitation fact-finders to tour Korea, will be followed by another group this summer. The second mission will study educational and agricultural needs of the country, as well as digging up more information on its health problems.

A non-political, non-sectarian organization, the American-Korean Foundation was incorporated last September with Dr. Milton S. Eisenhower as chairman. Dr. Eisenhower, representing the International Society for the Welfare of Cripples; Dr. Leonard W. Mayo, executive director of the Association for the Aid of Crippled Children; Mrs. Bernard F. Gimbel, foundation board member; Eugene J. Taylor of the National Society of Crippled Children and Adults, and Palmer Bevis, executive director of the Foundation.



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