Knowledge and Attitude of Parents of Differently Abled children About Assistance from Government
Dr.T.M.Ananda Kesavan ,Dr.J.P.Padma, Mr.A.R. Rajeeve
Dept of Pediatrics , Govt Medical College, Thrissur, Kerala
Introduction: Differently abled children require long term treatment, support and follow up.They need special care, occupational and physiotherapy and some of them need long term treatment eg: AED. In developing country like India, majority of the parents can not afford therapy. Government agencies are providing financial assistance for physicallay ad mentallychallenged children, but our parents are not aware about such programmes
Aim: To assess the awareness among parents of differently abled children, about variousfinancial benefits .Also to make aware them about the programme Methods: It is a ongoing prospective study conducted from January 2014 to September 2014,in Pediatric ward of Govt.Medical College, Thrissur. The type of problem was assessed and direct interview of parents of children with mentally or physically challenged, were done.Main concentration was on disability certificate availability and financial assistance from Govt . Children of the age group of 1 to 15yrs were included. If any of the patient were notaware of the programme, we guided them accordingly
Results: .A total of 52 children, age varying from 1yr to15yr admitted in ward wereanalysed. The male female ratio were equal. Majority of them are BPL (65%) card holders.Most of them are from Thrissur district (73%) and 14 from Palakkad (26%). Eight of them(15%) didn’t have own house or land and they were staying in rented house .Three couplesgot divorced .Commonest diagnosis was cerebral palsy(65%).20 of them(38%) not received disabilitycertificate. Of the total of 12 from Palakkad, 8 of them didn’t get certificate because of thefact that they were issuing the certificate only for children more than 5 yrs of age.Eventhough 50(96%) children fully depend on parents for their daily activities ,disabilitycertificate issued only 50-60% handicap.Of the 52 cases, 12 were evaluated from private hospital,20 from government hospitals and20 cases not shown anywhere and consulted first time. Of the 32 (61%) cases who gotdisability certificate 8 didnt got the benefit and they were waiting for the same. Those whogot the benefit, usually getting an average amount of 600-700 per month, which is totallyinadequate
Discussion: This is a preliminary data regarding the awareness about the benefits of disabled children. Only 50% parents are aware of the financial benefit of disabled children. One third children still not aware of the benefits. There is no uniformity regarding the age of certificate distribution. Also thepercentage of disability mentioned in certificate is not true regarding the mental and physical weakness of the child. There is a long delay between the application and distribution of the certificate. The financial aid received by the patient are totally inadequate. There is also delay in getting financial aid after getting certificate.
Summary:Many of the parents are unaware of the benefits. There is laps or mistakes at various levels of assessment of disability, distribution of certificate and sanctioning of fund. We have to make parents and family physicians more aware of the various benefits and programmes.One of the member of Medical Board should be a paediatrician , so that proper assessment is possible. Govt officials should take necessary action in educating public , avoiding delay in issuing certificate and sanctioning proper financial aid.
Enable the Disabled (ED)Programme
Dr.T.M. Ananda Kesavan (President, IAP Kerala)
I thank the pediatricians of Kerala for their help and support for all the IAP activities.After the success of DIET program me, now we will move to the third and last part of my presidential action plan. “Enable the Disabled” program is another social program meant for the disabled children. I do hope that this post Onam , relaxed time is suited for the implementation of Enable the Disabled (ED) program. I am sure that all of you will accept it with full hearted mind Disabled children require long term treatment, support and follow up. They need special care, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and some of them need long term treatment eg: anti-epileptic medication. In a developing country like India, the majority of the parents cannot afford expensive therapy. Government agencies are providing financial assistance for physically and mentally challenged children, but parents and doctors are not aware about such programs.
Our aim is to make the parents of disabled children more aware about the various programmes and financial benefits. At present only 30-50% of parents are aware of the financial benefits provided to disabled children.
In the first phase, we have to guide the parents for getting a disabled certificate. The certificate is issued in all Govt Medical Colleges, District hospitals and other major Govt.Hospitals. Once they get the certificate, they can apply for the benefits through the Grama Panchayat or Muncipality. The Anganwadi workers and ICDS workers will also help them. Those aged above 5 yrs are eligible for educational scholarship. They will get travel allowance, dress allowance, etc. Parents looking after disabled children will get caretaker allowance. They have to apply through ICDS centre in their area (A detailed table is attached).More details will be available from websites of IAP Kerala (www.iapkerala.org) and Social Justice Department (www.sjd. kerala.gov.in) We have to give priority to disabled children in our hospital and clinics. No children with diasbilty should never force to stand in the queue. I request you to exhibit aposter with all these matter(which will reach you shortly)in your hospital and also in front of your consultation room.
Recently we met Director of Social Justice Department and Director of Social Security Mission and put forward the following suggestions:
1)Provision for providing disability certificate at the earliest: At present there is a delay
of 3- 4months(mainly due to delay in assessing IQ)
2) Uniform rules all over Kerala: In some districts, certification will be given at age of 1
yr (eg:Thrissur) while in some other places like Palakkad, issuing certificate after age of
3) Make the rules and regulation for issuing certificate , more relaxed one.
4) To include one pediatrician as a member in Medical Board of an institution
Expecting your cooperation and support for the ED Programme
Thanking You all ,