'Jungle girl' integrating slowly says psychologist

14th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

14 February 2007, MADRID - The Spanish psychologist who is helping the Cambodian "jungle girl" adapt to family life had his last session with her before.

14 February 2007

MADRID - The Spanish psychologist who is helping the Cambodian "jungle girl" adapt to family life had his last session with her before.

Hector Rifa, a professor at the University of Oviedo and head of the NGO Psychologists without Borders, visited for the third time last weekend the girl who supposedly spent 18 years lost in the jungle, at her village of Oyadao in Ratanakiri province.

After the visit, the psychologist said: "physically she is well and adaptation to her environment is having its effect. Her evolution is slow but positive," he told Efe Tuesday.

He said he is not treating a sick person with symptoms, but rather is helping her "integrate into the community where she is currently living."

"Now we are trying to find continuity in dealing with the case in order to proceed with her integration and take care of her from the points of view of human rights, social services, nursing, speech therapy and psychological evaluation," he said.

With that in mind Rifa, who returns to Spain this week for several months, has left a plan for regular follow-up attention that will involve a nurse from an NGO and a speech therapist.

He added: "The girl continues to show a hearing problem, which no doubt influences her deficiencies with the spoken language."

He also wants to be sure the youngster "will be looked after from the human-rights point of view," and that the family will keep treating her as well as they have up to now.

Rifa is to resume his academic career at the University of Oviedo as part of "that difficult balance between theory and practice in which one enriches the other," he said.

Rifa will return to Cambodia at the end of June to continue with the Psychologists without Borders project which provides access to health care for indigenous communities in remote areas. EFE

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news 
 

 

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