Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Intellectual disabilities in the spotlight at workshop

Intellectual disabilities in the spotlight at workshop

Intellectual disabilities in the spotlight at workshop

090320_05.jpg
090320_05.jpg

Singapore-funded program offers training in caregiving skills

Photo by: TOM HUNTER

Singaporean ambassador Tan Yee Woan (right) tours the Caritas Centre Thursday.

THE country's first speech therapy training program, aimed at improving care for children with special needs, concluded Thursday in Kandal province at the Caritas Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CCAMH).

In three workshops over a period of six months, 18 Cambodians from five local NGOs have received training in basic care-giving skills as part of a program funded by the Singaporean government and developed by the Speech Language and Hearing Association of Singapore.

"The first batch of caregivers has been trained to promote feeding and communication skills among children with special needs," said Um Thorn, Kandal's provincial health director.

Jegannathan Bhoomikumar, director of the Caritas Centre, said the nation's long history of war meant the government had traditionally stepped away from dealing with intellectual disabilities in favour of combating physical disabilities such as land mine injuries.

"It is time for Cambodia to look beyond the war and start tackling the root causes of brain injury," Bhoomikumar said.

The World Health Organisation estimates that between 2 and 4 percent of children in developing countries suffer from some form of intellectual disability, and that a quarter of those cases can be prevented.

Bhoomikumar said developmental disabilities are unusually high here due to a series of factors such as iron and iodine deficiencies, a high rate of tuberculosis meningitis and the fact that many mothers have children after they turn 40.

Keo Bora, a caregiver with children's NGO Goutte D'Eau, said the workshops had meant he could put into practice what he had learned and pass the lessons onto his colleagues.

"Before, I had no idea what to do if a child was crying," Keo Bora said.

"Now I can communicate and effectively feed the child."

CCAMH started work in 1995 and is the only establishment in the country that offers children with intellectual disabilities specialised services such as assessment, counselling, behavioural therapy, physiotherapy and speech therapy.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • EU timber deal in firing line

    A committee of more than 20 national and international organisations filed a petition to the EU on October 10 to prevent it from signing a timber trade agreement with Vietnam, noting that the deal would be disastrous to the Kingdom’s forests. The petition claims Vietnamese timber

  • Kim Sok to keep up fight ‘for change’ from Finland

    Kim Sok, wanted by the Kingdom’s authorities for defaming the government, reiterated on Sunday his determination to continue helping to make “a real change” to Cambodian politics after receiving asylum in Finland, even as a government spokesman mocked the political analyst over the development.

  • PM: Programme to recover Vietnam War missing back on

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced the resumption of the MIA programme to recover the remains of American service personnel missing after action on Cambodian soil during the Vietnam War. The programme was suspended for more than a year after the US government imposed visa