Disability & Access to Health
Disabled children are particularly vulnerable. They are often neglected by their parents due to traditions, beliefs or economic hardship. Children with disabilities are still sometimes accused of bringing bad luck, and are excluded from their community.
The rights guaranteed in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and all other documents and statements pertaining to the right to health are no less relevant for children with disabilities. In addition, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) speaks specifically to the right of persons with disabilities to equal access to all health resources.
Promoting equal access to health services
Ntengwe’s support to health systems improvements, through participation of grassroots level efforts, provides a great opportunity for working towards equal access to health services. Working in close partnership with the National Association of Societies for Disabled Persons and local government stakeholders, as well as community village health workers, we provide opportunities to further promote changes in service delivery so that children with disabilities and their families are assured equal access to services, including to the physical environment, to information and communication.
Training on disability for health care professionals and public health experts is facilitated in improving inclusive health care delivery and in strengthening advocacy in the area of health, Early Childhood Development, and access to reproductive health services.
We use the Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI) and related interventions which provide useful entry points to strengthen and support families to meet specific needs for care for children with disabilities.
Community health workers and outreach workers of Community Based Rehabilitation programs, assist in identifying those children who are ‘hidden’ and often denied the full range of services they require. These interventions aim to build the responsibility and capacity of communities to assist families in providing support for children with disabilities, including diagnosis and referral, and in acceptance of these children and of their disability as an aspect of human diversity.