The Brain Injury Trust is a non-profit organization (NPO) based in Cape Town, South Africa that provides a low-cost, holistic response to brain injury. Our cross-disciplinary team supports traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients and their families from the acute stage of injury right through the recovery process. We are the only organisation providing this comprehensive service in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, mainly to families from deeply disadvantaged communities.
Busy public hospitals and clinics in South Africa have insufficient resources to deal with the needs of patients who have suffered from brain injury, including those who are in a comatose state. This group of patients and their families require support and social care during the comatose period and when the patient is discharged. Social stigma, along with cultural and language differences further complicate the management of these patients by medical professionals and present significant challenges to patients’ families, especially when coupled with the often severe neurocognitive-, behavioural- and emotional- problems that accompany TBI. Medical procedures only address the immediate physical needs of comatose patients, and brain-injured patients typically require additional long-term psychosocial care and support.
Once a TBI patient leaves the hospital or clinic, families are expected to sustain a level of support similar to that provided in the medical setting. They are almost always ill-equipped to do so, which leads to stress, further trauma and disrupted lives. By employing its staff in the acute-care setting and in the community in its carefully structured services, The Brain Injury Trust serves to bridge the gap between medical providers and patients and their families. By providing care and support along the whole continuum of care we are able to improve the lives of those affected by TBI.