a) Strengthen the capacity of health practitioners and parents to support children with disabilities
b) Professional Development and
up skilling of a Mongolian Physiotherapist and Occupational Therapist
c) Distribution of resources to parents, therapists, and disability centres
d) Collaboration between three disability organisations in Mongolia – Association for Parents of Disabled Children (APDC), Kindergarten #10 and the Down Syndrome Association of Mongolia (DSAM).
In each Aimag training on childhood development, common disabilities and therapeutic strategies was presented to parents, staff and volunteers. Following the training, a day and a half of clinics were run to enable parents to receive specific advice from the visiting therapists. These sessions included an assessment of the child followed by some suggested strategies to aid skill development. In total over 150 children and parents attended clinics and training.
Amongst the wide variety of conditions and disabilities that were seen, a significant portion of these were preventable with either good maternal health care, good nutrition or early intervention services. There were many incidences of traumatic birth, vitamin deficiencies and poorly managed musculoskeletal problems.
To improve disability and health services in Mongolia in the future there needs to be an increase in training and knowledge amongst local medical practitioners and therapists to develop a better understanding of best practice for children with disabilities. There also needs to be programs that encourage lifelong learning, for example vocational training programs and employment opportunities for people with disabilities, as well as social inclusion activities. In addition to improvements in these services, there needs to be incentives for trained and skilled practitioners to work in countryside areas of Mongolia.
Ben Gwilliam Casey Barendrecht
Physiotherapist – Kindergarten #10 Occupational Therapist - DSAM
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