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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

"Childhood discapacities: Assessment and action in four Egyptian governorates"

Pinar Polat, MPH1, Raed Alazab, PhD, MD2, Luis Tam, MD DrPH1, E. El-Moselhy3, H. Khalifa3, H. Aboseif3, T. El Shorgby3, E. Abdallah4, A. Ebrahim3, and H. Elmasry3. (1) Plan USA, 1730 N Lynn St Suite 600, Arlington, VA 22209, 703-807-1264, pinar.polat@planusa.org, (2) Plan Egypt, 8/10 Matthaf El Manial Street, Manial, Cairo, Egypt, (3) Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt, c/o Plan Egypt, Cairo, Egypt, (4) Zagazig university, Cairo, Egypt, c/o Plan Egypt, Manial, Cairo, 202, Egypt

BACKGROUND: Discapacity affect more than 600 million people globally. In Egypt, prevalence of childhood disability was estimated to be about 8.0%, i.e., there are about 2.5 million children aged less than 18 with one or more physical or mental disabilities. Plan Egypt, an international, child-centered NGO has been active in developing programs aimed to improve the condition of these children. OBJECTIVE: (1) To assess the local prevalence of childhood disabilities and to define their risk factors in order to orientate program/policy design. (2) To present the strategies and results achieved by Plan Egypt in improving the care of childhood disabilities among this population. METHOD: A cross-sectional study design was conducted among 1403 children aged 1 to 18 from the governorates of Giza, Cairo and Alexandria. The study included physical examinations and interviews with their parents or caretakers. RESULTS: The overall prevalence of the childhood disabilities was 8.8%. The most common prevalent were visual, speech and hearing (4.5%, 2.1% and 1.9%, respectively). Childhood disabilities were more common among males (57.6%) and of congenital aetiology (61.8%). The factors with a statistically significant association with the presence of childhood discapacity were: (1) mother delivered at home, (2) mother not received antenatal care, (3)Positive consanguinity and (4) baby not received vaccination. The main source of rehabilitation was the private centers (79.2%). CONCLUSION: Based on this study, Plan Egypt and its local partners began a program to integrate the prevention and care of childhood disabilities into the services of the local primary health care facilities. The program is highly participatory, including parents, health and rehabilitation facilities (both in the private and public sector) and especially, the afflicted children and their sibilings and peers. The methods suggested in the Hesperian Foundation's books "Helping Children Who Are Deaf" and "Helping Children Who are Blind" have been widely applied. The results of this initiative will be discussed during this presentation.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Disability, Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered

Perspectives on Chronic Disease and Aging

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA