The fact that human beings are complex living beings demands that their body and mind be catered to during any medical visit or camp. This very fact guided us to organize a one-day multi-disciplinary medical visit at Srijanshil rehabilitation and special education school for the disabled located in Chandragiri. The school has almost 20 students with different yet unique needs, and most of them belong to a family of economically disadvantaged sections of society.
This one-day multi-disciplinary visit was organized and funded by GFF Helps Nepal, a local development program of GFF Helps International, a charity-based organization based in Auckland, New Zealand.
The GFF Nepal volunteer Ms Minket Lepcha and GFF Nepal representative Ms Insha Pun coordinated this program. They were closely supported by Child Development Society based at Kapan, Budhanilkantha and Sambhvya Foundation based at Kirtipur. The program saw a medical team consisting of Dr Priyanka, who has experience working in Kaanti Baal hospital; Ms Binita Kutu, a nurse at Bhaktapur hospital; Mr Sanjay Acharya, a Lab technician at Nepal Medical College and coordinator. Also, Physiotherapist Dr Preeti Shah, Clinical psychologist Ms Shruti Rana and Counselor Mr Aditya Dangol ( Sambhavya Foundation) supported the program. This inter-disciplinary approach served a million-dollar purpose to these students with special needs as their overall physical and psychological needs were addressed.
The program served 25 people, 19 children, their parents and a handful of elderly patients who visited the camp. The medical team ruled out and provided medicines for dental carries, ear impactions, constipation, menstrual cramps, body aches and allergy etc. Few of them were referred to higher centres for neuro, dental, and ENT consultation.
The major finding from the physiotherapy team was lack of muscle strength, eye-hand coordination, spasticity, poor gait and lack of balance while walking. The team-oriented and taught the child, the primary care taker at the school and their guardians about various muscle strengthening exercises, gait and postural training. They referred few children for wrist splint and speech therapist.
The psychology team identified some behavioural issues such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and many developmental delays in children. The clinical psychologist and the counsellor provided psychoeducation to the guardian and children (wherever applicable). They also performed group counselling where the guardians ventilated their feelings of caring for a child with special needs. They were counselled as per their individual problems.
The school authorities expressed their thankfulness to GFF Nepal and the entire team involved in the organization. GFF Nepal has noted the recommendations from the medical team and is looking forward to assisting through the physiotherapy manpower. Meanwhile, the school authorities have shared the lack of teachers and human resources to provide individual care. So, lastly, we would like to request other concerned agents and funding bodies to collaborate with the school in providing optimal care to the students at this school.