Archives of Medicine and Health Sciences

: 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

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
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Full Text


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.


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