Uniform tool in country soon to screen Neurodevelopmental disorders

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DHAKA, Feb 28, 2018 (BSS) – The country will get a uniform tool very soon to screen all kinds of Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) to identify persons with NDDs for early identification and strengthening the capacity of relevant stakeholders.

Through a project titled ‘A Comprehensive Approach to identify Children with Disability through Capacity Building of Government and NGO Health Workers and Disability Service Mapping in Bangladesh’, the government, in association with Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), would finalize the tool.

The information came out at the launching programme of the project at Sasakawa Auditorium of icddr,b in city’s Mohakhali area.

Chairperson of Bangladesh National Advisory Committee for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorder, Saima Wazed Hossain, who is also member of the World Health Organization’s Expert Advisory Panel on Mental Health and chairperson of Shuchona Foundation, was the chief guest at the programme.

“This project would identify where the challenges of tackling NDDs are, how to reduce disabilities, how to make life easy with disabilities and make it happy,” she said.

This project would also find out the requirements of the health service providers to render services to people with NDDs, she added.

Thanking the government, she said, “Now the people of the country can realize that autism or NDD is everybody’s issue. They can feel that we all have to work together to help them leading an easier life and make the nation more prosperous one in the globe.”

Icddr,b would implement the project in collaboration with Faith Bangladesh. Shuchona Foundation will provide technical guidance while UNICEF will fund the project.

The project would also develop a referral linkage with appropriate service providers for different types of disabilities through service mapping based on facility information.

According to icddr,b, an estimated 16 million people or 10 per cent of the country’s population have disabilities in the country.

For the first time in the country, this project would validate appropriate screening and diagnostic tools for identifying children with disabilities aged between 0 (newborn) and 18 years in line with the global measures. It would also strengthen the capacities of frontline workers of Ministry of Social Welfare and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Icddr,b Acting Executive Director Syed Monjurul Islam presided over the programme.

Secretary of the Ministry of Social Welfare M Zillar Rahman, Director General (DG) of Health Services Professor Dr Abul Kalam Azad, DG of Family Planning Dr Kazi Mustafa Sarwar, head of Child Protection Unit of Unicef Jean Lieby and Executive Director of Faith Bangladesh Nilufer Ahmed Karim also spoke on the occasion.

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