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Some statistics:

According to the Namibian Statistics Agency for 2016 the statistics is as follows:

5% of Namibia’s population has a disability. A total of 110 000 people.

Based on the World Health Organization the actual number may be up to 15 %.

Two – thirds of the disabled population lives in the rural areas where it is extremely hard to receive services to meet their medical needs.

87% of children with special needs have never attended therapy and Early Childhood Development to optimise their life quality.

Not only does this mean that about 73 333.33 people (including children) are struggling to get help for their disability, but we need to keep in mind that each child’s condition affects at least 2 more people on average. Of the 73 333.33 about 15 000 is children. This means on average 35 000 children and parents are affected by this disability statistic. (Only taking into account the child population)

This is the figure Side by Side keeps in mind when we work tirelessly to do Early Detection and Early Intervention. We believe that this issue of unawareness can be targeted successfully and can actively be addressed through education, rehabilitation and training of the parents, teachers and community as a whole. 

What is early Intervention? 

Early intervention is a range of services to help children aged between 0 to 7 years. These children have developmental difficulties or specific health conditions. A Therapist uses different types of activities to target developmental areas. This enables them to achieve optimal quality of life. Providing early intervention helps children catch up and increases their chances for success in school and life overall.

Early intervention focuses on the following developmental areas to assist children with achieving milestones

– Sensory Stimulation
– Gross Motor Skills
– Fine Motor Skills
– Perceptual Development (body and surrounding area awareness)
– Language and Communication

Why is Early Intervention important in children with disabilities? 

Early intervention in many cases increases the chances of these children to have a normal or very close to normal life. Its an empowering tool to prepare them for life and its challenges.

In more severe cases early intervention assists with maintaining the bodies and minds of children, providing for more comfort during their life. Early Intervention Centres plays a very important role in this, specially in less privileged communities where information and medical help is very limited. Home based programmes can help not only the child but also the family to optimise quality of life and maintaining good health.

Links:
Directory of Organisations Supporting Persons With Disability and Chronic Care Needs

Directory of Organisations Supporting Persons With Disability and Chronic Care Needs