Archives of WHO

Polio - Rehabilitation

Report from the "Seishi Ryogo En" centre in Tokyo

The Seishi Ryogo En, founded in 1937 by Dr Kenji Takagi , is Japan's first hospital, school and home community centre for the rehabilitation of crippled children. With the help of WHO and UNICEF, it has now become a training and demonstration centre for the entire country and provides guidance and information to 17 other similar institutions in Japan.

Photographer : Hisomu Mase
Date : 1959
Copyright : WHO

Shigenori during a class

Athletic meetings are held in the grounds behind Seishi Ryogo En and competitors eagerly fasten their braces before the start of the race.

A social worker with a child suffering from polio

Miss Kobayashi, a medical and social worker and former WHO fellow, interviews a mother who has brought her daughter to the centre. The "mother and child class" is a special part of the centre to which mothers and children are admitted together for about two months, during which time the mother learns how to take care of her crippled child at home.

Exercises to strengthen muscles

Muscle-strengthening exercise for a polio case

Children practise walking

Dr Takagi's device for standing and walking exercises. It is very useful for helping the children get a sense of balance.

Children practise walking

The hurdle used for walking exercises