Paediatrics and Child Health (East Africa)
Background: Our understanding of child disability has undergone major changes over the last three decades transforming our approach to assessment and management. Globally there are significant gaps in the application of these 21st century models of care. There is recognition that economic, cultural, and social factors influence transitions in care and there is need to consider contextual factors.
Objectives: A two-day workshop brought together key stakeholders to discuss current models of care and their application in the East African context. This article summarises workshop proceedings and identifies a broadly supported set of recommendations that serve to set a direction for health professionals, families, family-based disability organisations, communities and government.
Method: Presentations followed by facilitated round-table sessions explored specific themes with participants reporting their responses communally. Future actions were agreed upon by relevant stakeholders.
Results: Many barriers exist to care for children with disabilities in East Africa, including stigma and a lack of human and infrastructural resources. In addition, significant disparities exist with regard to access to medication and specialist care. The International Classification of Functioning framework needs to be translated to clinical practice within East Africa, with due recognition of the importance of family-centred care and emphasis on the life course theory for disability care. Family-centred care, educational initiatives, advocacy on the part of stakeholders and involvement of government policymakers are important avenues to improve outcomes.
Conclusion: Further education and data are needed to inform family-centred care and multidisciplinary team implementation across East African care contexts for children with disabilities.
African Journal of Disability
(2022). Child disability and family-centred care in East Africa: Perspectives from a workshop with stakeholders and health practitioners. African Journal of Disability, 11, 1-6.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/eastafrica_fhs_mc_paediatr_child_health/197
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