Archives of Medicine and Health Sciences

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year
: 2014  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 114--115

Holistic measures for the welfare of the differently-abled children


Saurabh R. Shrivastava, Prateek S. Shrivastava, Jegadeesh Ramasamy 
 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh R. Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Thiruporur-Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India




How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Holistic measures for the welfare of the differently-abled children.Arch Med Health Sci 2014;2:114-115


How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Holistic measures for the welfare of the differently-abled children. Arch Med Health Sci [serial online] 2014 [cited 2020 Apr 2 ];2:114-115
Available from: http://www.amhsjournal.org/text.asp?2014/2/1/114/133853


Full Text

Sir,

The World Health Organization has estimated that globally more than a billion people have some form of disability, of which approximately 13 million children (0-14 years) suffer from a severe type of disability. [1] Disability tends to cause a significant impact not only on the development of the child, but also poses a continuous struggle for their family members. [2] A disabled child during their lifetime is exposed to serious health risks such as dental caries/intestinal worm infestations/obesity; [3],[4],[5] lesser education/occupation options; [1] vulnerable for different types of violence; [1] hardships for food, housing, access to safe water, sanitation, and healthcare services; [2],[6] and reliance on others for their development and survival. [1],[6] The problem does not remain restricted to the disabled child alone, but it is the testing time, even for the members of the family becomes, as they have to deal with day to day challenges such as financial restrictions; [7],[8] and stigma/anxiety/stress/depression; [7] and even an adverse impact on their social and working life. [2]

Different studies have revealed an extensive gamut of healthcare delivery system and social determinants such as inadequate policies for the welfare of disabled children (viz. scarce targeted incentives to empower them to attend school or minimal social protection and support services); [1] insufficient health care, support, and rehabilitation services; [2] weak healthcare delivery system (viz. poor coordination, scarce number of professionals, and untrained/desensitized staff); [9] poor monetary support; [1],[2] negative attitudes/beliefs/prejudices among policy makers/employers about the efficiency of a disabled individual; [1],[2] limited institutes for the welfare of the disabled; [2],[6] minimal inclusion of disabled persons in policy making; [1] and incomplete data; [10] which have limited the scope of extending benefits to the disabled children. A wide range of gaps have been identified in the current existing policies for the welfare of the disabled ranging from incompletely developed nongovernmental organization's (NGO's) directory that are working in the field of disability; poor implementation of community-based rehabilitation programs owing to ineffective involvement of self-help groups; nonexisting mental healthcare homes or residential rehabilitation centers under supervision of district level Panchayati Raj institutions; nonexistence of a barrier-free environment; and no research activities in key domains (viz. sociocultural aspects of disability, development of social indicators to analyze the education status, a comprehensive mechanism to generate statistics about the employment status, to identify the causes of different types of disabilities, and promote genetic research to minimize the incidence of disability). [10]

As the disabled child belongs to a vulnerable section of the community, the prerequisite is to have a comprehensive policy, which should address not only the needs of the disabled child, but also of the family members to enable them to lead a normal life. The proposed holistic measures should be stringently implemented to deal with the multiple concerns of a disabled child as discussed in [Table 1]. In addition, there is an indispensable need to support the welfare strategies with a sound data collection system and community-based qualitative research activities.{Table 1}

To conclude, sustained political commitment and collaboration with different stakeholders and international agencies are the main pillars for ensuring the welfare of a disabled child.

References

1World Health Organization. World report on disability. WHO Press: Geneva, 2011.
2Sen E, Yurtsever S. Difficulties experienced by families with disabled children. J Spec Pediatr Nurs 2007;12:238-52.
3Reinehr T, Dobe M, Winkel K, Schaefer A, Hoffmann D. Obesity in disabled children and adolescents: An overlooked group of patients. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2010;107:268-75.
4Nahar SG, Hossain MA, Howlader MB, Ahmed A. Oral health status of disabled children. Bangladesh Med Res Counc Bull 2010;36:61-3.
5Tappeh KhH, Mohammadzadeh H, Rahim RN, Barazesh A, Khashaveh Sh, Taherkhani H. Prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections among mentally disabled children and adults of Urmia, Iran. Iran J Parasitol 2010;5:60-4.
6Yousafzai AK, Farrukh Z, Khan K. A source of strength and empowerment? An exploration of the influence of disabled children on the lives of their mothers in Karachi, Pakistan. Disabil Rehabil 2011;33:989-98.
7Beecham J, Sloper P, Greco V, Webb R. The costs of key worker support for disabled children and their families. Child Care Health Dev 2007;33:611-8.
8Tolou-Ghamari Z, Shaygannejad V, Khorvash F. Preliminary investigation of economics issues in hospitalized patients with stroke. Int J Prev Med 2013;4:S338-42.
9Greco V, Sloper P, Webb R, Beecham J. Key worker services for disabled children: The views of staff. Health Soc Care Community 2006;14:445-52.
10National Policy for Persons with Disabilities Year, 2006. Available from: http://www.socialjustice.nic.in/nationalpolicies.php [Last accessed on 2013 Jan 05].