Nepal is a beautiful country located in the lap of Himalayas. But its beauty comes with its vices. Nepal is ranked among the poorest countries in the world. 25% of the population lie under poverty line (NLSS-III,2010-2011).Nepal census 2011 reports physical disability being at 0.7% . Data on childhood disability is lacking but the severity of the condition can be estimated by the population statistics that shows 40.49% infant mortality rate. Mortality for child under 5 years of age is a drastic 54.8 % for males and 50.7 % for female child.
Luckily there are organizations that has been helping children with disabilities in Nepal. They are mostly dependent on the foreign funds and donations .Governmental planning and issues of advocacies are ongoing . Government initiation , however is still poor and slow in this matter. This leaves the families on their own to take care of their health issues. Hence it is so very important to empower the families who are the last resort for these children.
Health care professionals on the other hand have more responsibilities in such scenario like Nepal. They need to be more vigilant and work not only as a family health care provider but broaden their scope of practice by helping in advocating the needs of the children and families with disability. Role simply is not only to provide health care services but to help create awareness in the locality, to locate other required services for the child and the family for the information available to them is limited, to advocate for the rights of children with disability where necessary and bring their issues to limelight.
We as health care professionals have a huge responsibility which cannot be fulfilled without bearing in mind the needs of the children with disabilities and their families. Keeping this in mind, we have formed a group of people working together to bring changes to the understanding, practice and policy making in the field of physical disability and rehabilitation. This is only a small step towards many other important steps to come towards reaching our goal.
Deepa Bajracharya was Lecturer at Department of Physiotherapy, Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences, Kavre, Nepal(2012-2014). Before that, she has worked as a clinical physiotherapist at Center for child development and disabilities at Bangalore,India.
Mother of a special abilities child and a working mother. She is an employee of Tribhuwan University and since the birth of her daughter, she has been raising voices for the rights of children with disabilities
Apurwa Karki is an Internal Medicine Resident at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, Queens, NY. looking forward to doing his Fellowship in pulmonary and critical care. He has been constantly supporting this cause.
Social Media enthusiast with expertise in Mobile Computing and Application Development