Community Volunteers: An asset for detecting and following up children with disabilities
Results and recommendations from the 4 year Key Informant Study in Bangladesh and Pakistan
Community based volunteers (“Key Informants”) can help identify children with disabilities in low resourced settings, without the need for house-hold surveys. In many developing countries, children with disabilities are amongst the most marginalised members of society, neglected, stigmatised and lacking access to essential primary and rehabilitative health care. Very limited accurate data on their numbers and needs exists, perpetuating marginalisation and social exclusion. Key informants may be an excellent source for identifying children who need to be provided requisite health services as well as rehabilitative support including community based rehabilitation.
The International Centre for Evidence in Disability (ICED) at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has recently completed a four year CBM-funded project in Bangladesh and Pakistan to identify children with disabilities and connect them with appropriate rehabilitative services. Named “The Key Informant Methodology”, the method relies on training community volunteers to identify children with targeted disabilities, who are then evaluated by a multi-disciplinary medical team and referred for appropriate rehabilitative services as necessary. Key Informants then provide a link for long term follow up between the community and the formal health care system.
The project helped in estimating the magnitude of child disability due to specific impairments at the district and national level, alongside providing rich data on causality of impairment, health seeking behaviour, access to education, functional limitations and participation restrictions amongst the cohort. A follow-up study assessed the impact of intervention referrals.
This exciting seminar, introduced by CBM’s president and Co-Director of ICED, Prof. Allen Foster, will explore the project’s findings and recommendations, before opening up for discussions.
This seminar will be followed by a reception.
For more information about the International Centre for Evidence in Disability (ICED), or to subscribe to our mailing list, please see our website at: http://disabilitycentre.lshtm.ac.uk/