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Access to basic needs and health care for Malawian prosthetic and orthotic users with lower limb physical disabilities: a cross-sectional study

MAGNUSSON, Lina
FINYE, Clifford
ENSTEDT, Catrin
May 2020

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The aim of this study was to investigate access for Malawian prosthetic and orthotic users with lower limb disabilities to basic human rights such as health and a standard of living adequate for health, education, work, marrying and establishing a family, and voting. A further aim was to investigate differences among subgroups based on gender, level of income, and residential location.

A cross-sectional design and a questionnaire were used to collect data from 83 participants.

 

Disability and Rehabilitation

https://doi.org/10.1080/09638288.2020.1752316

The experiences of parents of children living with disabilities at Lehlaba Protective Workshop in Sekhukhune district of Limpopo province

TIGERE, Brian
MAKHUBELE, Jabulani C.
September 2019

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Background: Parents of children with disabilities have faced difficulties in looking after their children, be it socially, economically and financially. Parents in rural areas are mainly left with a huge burden, as there is a lack of services and support from both the state and non-governmental organisations. Parents in Sekhukhune district, a rural area in Limpopo province of South Africa, face challenges in raising their disabled children related to lack of resources and lack of services at their disposal.

 

Objectives: This study focuses on the experiences and life circumstances faced by parents of children living with different types of disabilities at Lehlaba Protective Workshop in Sekhukhune district of Limpopo province, South Africa.

 

Method: The study consisted of 14 participants who are parents of children living with disabilities. An interview guide with a set of questions was utilised to gather data. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data and themes that emerged were grouped together.

 

Results: Themes that emerged from the data showed that most of the participants had varying understandings on the causes of disabilities to their children. The participants also were of the view that a ‘cure’ for disability was available medically, spiritually or through traditional African medicine. The study also brought the notion of absent fathers, as most men do not want to be associated with children who are disabled. Stigmatisation of the parents was also a theme that the study revealed. The parents are subjected to name labelling as they are viewed to be practising witchcraft or to be paying for their sins they committed.

 

Conclusion: Parents of children with disabilities are in their own battle in raising their children. There is a lack of support structures available for parents of children living with disabilities. There is a lack of legislation available for protecting and promoting the rights of children with disabilities. The researchers concluded that raising a child with a disability is expensive, time-consuming and straining.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 8, 2019

Disability prevalence-context matters: A descriptive community-based survey

MAART, Soraya
AMOSUN, Seyi
JELSMA, Jennifer
August 2019

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Background: There is increasing interest in the collection of globally comparable disability data. Context may influence not only the rates but also the nature of disability, thus locally collected data may be of greater use in service delivery planning than national surveys.

 

Objectives: The objective of this article was to explore the extent to which two areas, both under-resourced but geographically and socially distinct, differed in terms of the prevalence and patterns of disability.

 

Method: A cross-sectional descriptive survey design was utilised, using stratified cluster sampling in two under-resourced communities in the Western Cape, South Africa. Nyanga is an informal urban settlement in Cape Town and Oudtshoorn is a semi-rural town. The Washington Group Short Set of questions was used to identify persons with disabilities (PWD), and a self-developed questionnaire obtained socio-demographic information.

 

Results: The overall prevalence of disability was 9.7% (confidence intervals [CIs] 9.7–9.8) and the proportion of PWD was significantly different between the two sites (Chi-Sq = 129.5, p < 0.001). In the urban area, the prevalence rate of any disability was 13.1% (CIs 12.0–14.3) with 0.3% (CIs 0.1–0.6) reporting inability to perform any function at all. In contrast, the semi-rural community had a lower overall prevalence rate of 6.8% (CIs 6.0% – 7.8%) but a higher rate of those unable to perform any function: 1% (CIs 0.07–1.4). Disability was associated with gender, age, unemployment and lower income status in both areas.

 

Conclusion: Deprived areas tend to show higher disability prevalence rates than the National Census estimates. However, the discrepancy in prevalence and patterns of disability between the two under-resourced areas indicates the need for locally specific data when planning health interventions.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 8, 2019

Disability and disaster risk reduction as an incongruent matrix: Lessons from rural Zimbabwe

LUNGA, Wilfred
BONGO, Paradzavi Pathias
VAN NIEKERK, Dewald
MUSARURWA, Charles
April 2019

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This research paper focuses on two key topics in the disaster science field: pre-disaster risk reduction planning and post-disaster emergency response activities. It is based on experiences from disaster risk reduction projects in Bulilima and Mangwe districts in southern Zimbabwe between 2006 and 2014. A qualitative research methodology was employed, and data were collected using in-depth personal interviews, observations and focus group discussions. Both able-bodied people and people living with disabilities (PWDs) were part of the study.

 

Jamba. (Journal of disaster risk studies) 2019; 11(1): 648.

doi: 10.4102/jamba.v11i1.648

Success in Africa: People with disabilities share their stories

SHAKESPEARE, Tom
MUGEERE, Anthony
NYARIKI, Emily
SIMBAYA, Joseph
2019

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Background: Whereas most narratives of disability in sub-Saharan Africa stress barriers and exclusion, Africans with disabilities appear to show resilience and some appear to achieve success. In order to promote inclusion in development efforts, there is a need to challenge narratives of failure.

 

Objectives: To gather life histories of people with disabilities in three sub-Saharan African countries (Kenya, Uganda and Sierra Leone) who have achieved economic success in their lives and to analyse factors that explain how this success has been achieved.

 

Methods: Qualitative research study of economic success involving life history interviews with 105 participants with disabilities from both urban and rural settings recruited through disabled people’s organisations and non-governmental organisation partners, framework analysis of transcripts to chart success and success factors.

 

Results: Participants had faced barriers in education, employment and family life. They had largely surmounted these barriers to achieve success on an equal basis with others. They were working in private and public sectors and were self-employed farmers, shopkeepers and craftspeople.

 

Conclusion: The findings of this study suggest that, given the right support, disabled people can achieve economic success, with the implication being that investment in education or training of disabled people can be productive and should be part of overall development efforts for economic reasons, not solely to achieve social justice goals.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 8, 2019

Disabled people’s organisations and the disability movement: Perspectives from Burkina Faso

BEZZINA, Lara
April 2019

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Background: In Burkina Faso, the disability movement is rather weak, both in terms of funding and staffing – its range does not extend far outside the capital city and is largely dependent on international non-governmental organisations (INGOs). Despite the huge number of grassroots disabled people’s organisations (DPOs), many of these organisations do not function beyond the occasional meeting and celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The reasons for this are various, including dependency on external funding (such as from international organisations), lack of access to resources, being dependent on voluntary members, and lack of organisation.

 

Objectives: This article looks at the functioning of – and politics governing – DPOs in Burkina Faso, their significance in the lives of people with disabilities and the challenges they encounter.

 

Method: This article is based on research findings obtained through interviews conducted with people with disabilities, as well as INGOs working with people with disabilities and state authorities in Burkina Faso.

 

Results: Evidence suggests that the farther people with disabilities are from the capital, the lesser are their chances of being heard and of being involved in decision-making. However, DPOs offer a haven for many, offering people with disabilities solace in meeting other members and finding a sense of belonging in these associations. Others give importance to the role of DPOs in raising awareness and human rights advocacy.

 

Conclusion: Finally, the article raises the question as to what the future of DPOs in Burkina Faso might entail.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 8, 2019

Innovate for Inclusion. Four cases of application of the social innovation lab methodology to enhance disability inclusion in mainstream settings

MAARSKE, Anneke
NEDERVEEN, Matthijs
BAART, Judith
2019

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This publication reflects back on four co-design processes undertaken by Light for the World’s Disability Inclusion Lab during the past few years. These different journeys in solution development have demonstrated the power of this methodology to create genuine inclusion in livelihood programming while striving to empower persons with disabilities to achieve economic success. In this publication the social innovation lab methodology is described as a unique approach to inclusive programming, highlighting four cases: The Livelihood Improvement Challenge in Uganda, the lab in the EmployAble programme in Ethiopia, the AgriLab in Cambodia, and the InBusiness pilot in Kenya. Lessons learnt are described.

Societal attitude and behaviours towards women with disabilities in rural Nepal: pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood

DEVKOTA, Hridaya R.
KETT, Maria
GROCE, Nora
January 2019

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This study reviews the attitudes and behaviours in rural Nepalese society towards women with disabilities, their pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood. Society often perceives people with disabilities as different from the norm, and women with disabilities are frequently considered to be doubly discriminated against. Studies show that negative perceptions held in many societies undervalue women with disabilities and that there is discomfort with questions of their control over pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood, thus limiting their sexual and reproductive rights. Public attitudes towards women with disabilities have a significant impact on their life experiences, opportunities and help-seeking behaviours. Numerous studies in the global literature concentrate on attitudes towards persons with disabilities, however there have been few studies in Nepal and fewer still specifically on women.

A qualitative approach, with six focus group discussions among Dalit and non-Dalit women without disabilities and female community health volunteers on their views and understandings about sexual and reproductive health among women with disabilities, and 17 face-to-face semi-structured interviews with women with physical and sensory disabilities who have had the experience of pregnancy and childbirth was conducted in Rupandehi district in 2015. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and translated into English before being analysed thematically.

 

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 19, 20 (2019)

https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-019-2171-4

MAANASI - A sustained, innovative, integrated mental healthcare model in South India

JAYARAM, Geetha
GOUD, Ramakrishna
CHANDRAN, Souhas
PRADEEP, Johnson
2019

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Studies in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) point to a significant association of common mental disorders with female gender, low education, and poverty. Depression and anxiety are frequently complicated by lack of disease awareness and non-adherence, the absence of care and provider resources, low value given to mental health by policy-makers, stigma, and discrimination towards the mentally ill. This paper aims to show that female village leaders/ community health and outreach workers (CHWs) can be used to overcome the lack of psychiatric resources for treatment of common mental disorders in rural areas.

A multidisciplinary team was set up to evaluate and treat potential clients in the villages. A program of care delivery was planned, developed and implemented by: (a) targeting indigent women in the region; (b) integrating mental health care with primary care; (c) making care affordable and accessible by training local women as CHWs with ongoing continued supervision; and (d) sustaining the program long-term.   Indigenous CHWs served as a link between the centre and the community. They received hands-on training, ongoing supervision, and an abridged but focused training module to identify common mental disorders, help treatment compliance, networking, illness literacy and community support by outreach workers. They used assessment tools translated into the local language, and conducted focus groups and client training programs. 

As a result, mental healthcare was provided to clients from as many as 150 villages in South India. Currently the services are utilized on a regular basis by about 50 villages around the central project site. The current active caseload of registered clients is 1930.  Empowerment of treated clients is the final outcome, assisting them in self-employment. 

Rural mental healthcare must be culturally congruent, and must integrate primary care and local CHWs for success. Training, supervision, ongoing teaching of CHWs, on-site resident medical officers, research and outreach are essential to continued success over two decades.

 

Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, [S.l.], v. 30, n. 2, p. 104-113, Oct. 2019

 

 

A Cross-sectional Survey of Rehabilitation Service Provision for Children with Brain Injury in Selangor, Malaysia

TAY, Ee Lin
WONG, Chee Piau
2018

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Purpose: Rehabilitation services in Malaysia are provided by both governmental and non-governmental agencies but there are challenges, such as the lack of integration between agencies, and accessibility barriers to services especially for the population of urban poor and people in the rural areas. With the help of a survey, this project aimed to gain a better understanding of rehabilitation services provided for children with brain injury within the state of Selangor and Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.

 

Method: A list of 205 organisations that provide rehabilitation services for children with neurological injuries was compiled. The researchers attempted to verify the services by visiting the facilities or via telephone or email communication if visits were not possible.

 

Results: The researchers were able to verify 83% of the organisations identified. There are 40 hospitals and 17 service providers for acute and / or chronic physical rehabilitation services for persons with disabilities of all ages, including children.

 

Conclusion: Findings showed the unequal distribution of rehabilitation service provision by districts. Service providers were concentrated in the urban areas. Setting up new healthcare facilities is one of the solutions but the costs for development, construction, and manpower could be high. An alternative solution is proposed, namely, the use of a home-based virtual rehabilitation programme.

Lived Experience of Psychosocial Disability and Social Inclusion: A Participatory Photovoice Study in Rural India and Nepal

FERNANDES, Helen Lea
CANTRILL, Stephanie
SHRESTHA, Ram, Lal
RAJ, Rachel, Belda
ALLCHIN, Becca
KAMAL, Raj
BUTCHER, Nicole
GRILLS, Nathan
2018

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Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the experiences of people living with a psychosocial disability in rural India and Nepal, and to highlight key barriers and enablers for inclusion.

 

Method: Participatory action research approaches and Photovoice methodology were employed to investigate the lived experience of 32 participants in rural India and Nepal. There were 12 participants and 4 caregivers of people with psychosocial disability from each of the two countries. Semi-structured interviews with study participants were transcribed and analysed thematically to answer the study question.

 

Results: The findings revealed themes related to various supports, meaningful engagement in activity, and community awareness. Among these categories were both enabling and impeding factors to inclusion, the presence or absence of which was typically associated with improvements or worsening of symptoms respectively.

 

Conclusions and Implications: This study underscores the need for integrated community-based approaches that are multisectoral, inclusive of family, and strengthen community responses. Photovoice was also shown to be a feasible research methodology for providing insights into the lived experience of people with psychosocial disability and for fostering their empowerment

Learning From Experience: Guidelines for locally sourced and cost-effective strategies for hygiene at home for people with high support needs.

World Vision/CBM Australia
May 2018

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This learning resource is the result of a partnership between World Vision Australia and CBM Australia that aims to improve inclusion of people with disabilities in World Vision’s Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH) initiatives, including in Sri Lanka. The guidelines are based on experiences and observations from World Vision’s implementation of the Rural Integrated WASH 3 (RIWASH 3) project in Jaffna District, Northern Province, funded by the Australian Government’s Civil Society WASH Fund 2. The four year project commenced in 2014. It aimed to improve the ability of WASH actors to sustain services, increase adoption of improved hygiene practices, and increase equitable use of water and sanitation facilities of target communities within 11 Grama Niladari Divisions (GNDs) in Jaffna District.

To support disability inclusion within the project, World Vision partnered with CBM Australia. CBM Australia has focused on building capacities of partners for disability
inclusion, fostering connections with local Disabled People’s Organisations, and providing technical guidance on disability inclusion within planned activities. World Vision also partnered with the Northern Province Consortium of the Organizations for the Differently Abled (NPCODA) for disability assessment, technical support and capacity building on inclusion of people with disabilities in the project.

HYGIENE AT HOME FOR PEOPLE WITH HIGH SUPPORT NEEDS
This document is one of two developed in the Jaffna District and describes strategies that used to assist households and individuals in hygiene tasks at home. The strategies were designed to be low cost and were developed using locally available materials and skills in the Jaffna District of Sri Lanka.

NOTE: The development of this learning resource was funded by the Australian Government's Civil Society WASH Fund 2.

Disability and vocational rehabilitation in rural settings

HARLEY, Debra
et al
2018

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A graduate student textbook offered in 39 chapters, each with different authors and subjects. Abstracts, test questions and citations are freely available on-line. Full text is charged for. The book surveys rehabilitation and vocational programs aiding persons with disabilities in remote and developing areas in the U.S. and abroad. Contributors discuss longstanding challenges to these communities, most notably economic and environmental obstacles and ongoing barriers to service delivery, as well as their resilience and strengths. Considerations are largely of the US but there is a chapter on each of Asia and Pacific region, Australasia, Canada, Mexico, India, Turkey, Colombia and the UK. 

 

Learning from experience: Guidelines for locally sourced and cost-effective strategies to modify existing household toilets and water access

WORLD VISION
CBM Australia
2018

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This learning resource is the result of a partnership between World Vision Australia and CBM Australia that aims to improve inclusion of people with disabilities in World Vision’s Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH) initiatives, including in Sri Lanka. The guidelines are based on experiences and observations from World Vision’s implementation of the Rural Integrated WASH 3 (RIWASH 3) project in Jaffna District, Northern Province, funded by the Australian Government’s Civil Society WASH Fund 2. The four year project commenced in 2014. It aimed to improve the ability of WASH actors to sustain services, increase adoption of improved hygiene practices, and increase equitable use of water and sanitation facilities of target communities within 11 Grama Niladari Divisions (GNDs) in Jaffna District.

To support disability inclusion within the project, World Vision partnered with CBM Australia. CBM Australia has focused on building capacities of partners for disability
inclusion, fostering connections with local Disabled People’s Organisations, and providing technical guidance on disability inclusion within planned activities. World Vision also partnered with the Northern Province Consortium of the Organizations for the Differently Abled (NPCODA) for disability assessment, technical support and capacity building on inclusion of people with disabilities in the project.

HOME MODIFICATIONS FOR WASH ACCESS
This document is one of two developed in the Jaffna District and describes the strategies which were used to assist people with disabilities to access toilet and water facilities at their own home. The strategies were designed to be low cost and were developed using locally available materials and skills in the Jaffna District of Sri Lanka. Houses and toilet structures in the region were made of brick and concrete. No new toilets were built and modifications involved only minor work to existing household structures, water points and toilets.

NOTE:
The development of this learning resource was funded by the Australian Government's Civil Society WASH Fund 2.

Cross-sectional Survey to Assess Prevalence of Disability and Access to Services in Albay Province, The Philippines

HODGE, Marcus
BOLINAS, Amable
JAUCIAN, Erlynn
BONEO, Rebecca
SCHAPIRA, Allan
VILLANUEVA, Mary Mediatrix V
2017

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Aim:  A cluster randomized cross-sectional survey to assess the prevalence of disability and access to support services was conducted in Albay Province, the Philippines in April 2016.

 

Method:  The population-based survey methodologies developed by the Washington Group of the United Nations Statistical Commission and UNICEF were utilized.  A sample of 70 barangays (the 3rd level administrative division in the Philippines) was selected as clusters, with probability proportional to size, and 30 households were selected randomly in each barangay to be surveyed.

 

Results:  The estimated prevalence of disability using the standard criteria of the Washington Group and UNICEF among children (2-17 years old) was 2.0% and for adults (≥18 years old) it was 6.5%.  The estimated prevalence of disability was higher in rural than in urban areas.  Deficiencies in the performance of existing services were identified; access by children with disabilities to support services was lowest in rural highland and rural plain barangays.

 

Conclusions: There was a large unmet demand for support services addressing the needs of persons with disabilities in Albay Province, especially in rural highland areas.  Persons with disabilities were disadvantaged in access to education and employment; many had not been educated in their basic rights.

 

Implications:  To identify, educate and fully support persons with disabilities, community-based rehabilitation (CBR), health and other rehabilitation services must communicate effectively with each other, their current work should be mapped and analysed, their comparative strengths identified, and their future work coordinated.  It is a priority to educate persons with disabilities and their families about their rights, and facilitate their access to support services; this requires increased investment in communication targeting persons with disabilities and the communities, especially rural.  Providers caring for persons with disabilities need to work in partnership to identify unreached persons with disabilities.  Prevalence surveys, with stronger focus on the profiles and performance of CBR and related services, would add to the evidence-base to improve the quality and coverage of services for persons with disabilities.

Effect of wheelchair design on wheeled mobility and propulsion efficiency in less-resourced settings

STANFILL, Christopher J.
JENSEN, Jody L.
2017

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Background: Wheelchair research includes both qualitative and quantitative approaches, primarily focuses on functionality and skill performance and is often limited to short testing periods. This is the first study to use the combination of a performance test (i.e. wheelchair propulsion test) and a multiple-day mobility assessment to evaluate wheelchair designs in rural areas of a developing country.


Objectives: Test the feasibility of using wheel-mounted accelerometers to document bouts of wheeled mobility data in rural settings and use these data to compare how patients respond to different wheelchair designs.


Methods: A quasi-experimental, pre- and post-test design was used to test the differences between locally manufactured wheelchairs (push rim and tricycle) and an imported intervention product (dual-lever propulsion wheelchair). A one-way repeated measures analysis of variance was used to interpret propulsion and wheeled mobility data.


Results: There were no statistical differences in bouts of mobility between the locally manufactured and intervention product, which was explained by high amounts of variability within the data. With regard to the propulsion test, push rim users were significantly more efficient when using the intervention product compared with tricycle users.


Conclusion: Use of wheel-mounted accelerometers as a means to test user mobility proved to be a feasible methodology in rural settings. Variability in wheeled mobility data could be decreased with longer acclimatisation periods. The data suggest that push rim users experience an easier transition to a dual-lever propulsion system.

Exploring the links between poverty and disability in rural Bangladesh

DAVIS, Peter
May 2017

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This paper explores the links between poverty and disability drawing from 60 qualitative life-history interviews conducted in rural Bangladesh, in 48 households, in three districts, in March 2016. The paper provides insights into the relationship between poverty and disability with the aim of informing policy and practice concerned with both reducing poverty and improving the life chances of people with disabilities. All of the households had a person with a disability as a member, and in three households, two household members had a disability. Mechanisms by which poverty caused or exacerbated disabilities, and also how people with disabilities fell into poverty, were prevented from escaping poverty, and, in some cases, succeeded in escaping poverty are explored. 
 

Exploring structural violence in the context of disability and poverty in Zimbabwe

MUDEREDZI, Jennifer T.
EIDE, Arne H.
BRAATHEN, Stine H.
STRAY-PEDERSEN, Babill
2017

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Background: While it is widely assumed that disability, poverty and health are closely linked, research falls short of fully understanding the link. One approach to analysing the links between disability and poverty is through the concept of structural violence, referring to social structures that contribute to the impoverishment of individuals or communities. These structures can be political, ecological, legal and economic, among others.


Objective: To explore structural violence and how it affects families of children with cerebral palsy among the Tonga ethnic group living in poor rural communities of Binga in Zimbabwe.


Method: This is a longitudinal, qualitative and ethnographic study. Data were collected over a period of eight years from 2005 to 2013. Data collection techniques were in-depth interviews, participant observation and focus group discussions. Purposive sampling was used to recruit 53 informants.


Results: Structural violence was noted through four themes: internal displacement and development, food and politics, water and sanitation, and social services. Poverty was noted in the form of unemployment, lack of education, healthcare, food and shelter. The concept of structural violence inflicted social suffering on the informants. Politics played a major role in activities such as food withdrawal, lack of water, development and allocation of local resources to ‘the people of the city’, leaving the informants struggling with care.

 

Conclusion: Political and economic forces have structured risks and created a situation of extreme human suffering. The capabilities approach brings out the challenges associated with cerebral palsy in the context of development challenges.

Community stakeholders’ perspectives on the role of occupational therapy in primary healthcare: Implications for practice

NAIDOO, Deshini
Van WYK, Jacqueline
JOUBER, Robin
2017

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Background: Primary healthcare (PHC) is central to increased access and transformation in South African healthcare. There is limited literature about services required by occupational therapists in PHC. Despite policy being in place, the implementation of services at grassroots level does not always occur adequately.

 

Objectives: This study aimed at gaining an understanding of the challenges of being disabled and the services required by occupational therapists (OTs) in rural communities in order to better inform the occupational therapy (OT) training curriculum. 

 

Method: An exploratory, descriptive qualitative design was implemented using purposive sampling to recruit 23 community healthcare workers from the uGu district. Snowball sampling was used to recruit 37 members of the uGu community, which included people with disability (PWD) and caregivers of PWDs. Audio-recorded focus groups and semi-structured interviews were used to collect data, which were thematically analysed. Ethical approval was obtained from the Biomedical and Research Ethics Committee of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (BE248/14).


Results: Two main themes emerged namely: firstly, the challenges faced by the disabled community and secondly appropriate opportunities for intervention in PHC. A snapshot of the social and physical inaccessibility challenges experienced by the community was created. Challenges included physical and sexual abuse, discrimination and marginalisation. Community-based rehabilitation and ideas for health promotion and prevention were identified as possible strategies for OT intervention.
Conclusion: The understanding of the intervention required by OT in PHC was enhanced through obtaining the views of various stakeholders’ on the role. This study highlighted the gaps in community-based services that OTs should offer in this context.
 

Partnerships in mental healthcare service delivery in low-resource settings: developing an innovative network in rural Nepal

BIBHAV Acharya
et al
January 2017

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Abstract

Background

Mental illnesses are the largest contributors to the global burden of non-communicable diseases. However, there is extremely limited access to high quality, culturally-sensitive, and contextually-appropriate mental healthcare services. This situation persists despite the availability of interventions with proven efficacy to improve patient outcomes. A partnerships network is necessary for successful program adaptation and implementation.

Partnerships network

We describe our partnerships network as a case example that addresses challenges in delivering mental healthcare and which can serve as a model for similar settings. Our perspectives are informed from integrating mental healthcare services within a rural public hospital in Nepal. Our approach includes training and supervising generalist health workers by off-site psychiatrists. This is made possible by complementing the strengths and weaknesses of the various groups involved: the public sector, a non-profit organization that provides general healthcare services and one that specializes in mental health, a community advisory board, academic centers in high- and low-income countries, and bicultural professionals from the diaspora community.

Conclusions

We propose a partnerships model to assist implementation of promising programs to expand access to mental healthcare in low- resource settings. We describe the success and limitations of our current partners in a mental health program in rural Nepal.

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