HOW, WHERE, WHY
— How we do it:
Teams of Community Rehab Workers, Physiotherapists, Special Educators, Occupational and Speech and Language Trainers teach parents / caregivers how to integrate Early Intervention therapy into the children’s daily lives.
Screen children and enroll parents/caregivers into the program to train and build their capacities to perform therapies for their children and improve their environment and participation. Provide weekly and monthly visits to the homes of children to support parents/caregivers.
Leverage technology to make the program system driven and enable monitoring using our EI app which connects CRWs to rehabilitation specialists (physiotherapists, special educators, speech therapists / trainers, occupational therapists) so that high quality treatment is provided.
Incorporate awareness and education programs for mothers, communities, school students and school management in the area.
Use the WHO’s International Classification of Disability and Function model to promote participation.
Services are provided free of cost to families as we target low income families.
— Where we do it:
Currently, we work in 5 districts in rural Tamil Nadu (Tenkasi, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, Madurai and Namakkal), India.
In 2014, we started with 5 Blocks (Geographical Area, each block population ~ 100,000) in Tenkasi District and reached 351 children and their families.
In 2017, we expanded to 13 Blocks in Tenkasi, Madurai and Namakkal District and reached 1252 children and their families.
In 2020, we are expanding to 34 Blocks and will reach > 3500 children.
We have plans to expand to other parts of the state, country and globally through establishing government and NGO partnerships.
— Why we do it:
The Global Burden of Disease Study (Lancet 2018), estimated that there are 52.9 million children younger than the age of 5 years with developmental disabilities across 195 countries globally, nearly 2.3 million in India and 100,000 in the state of Tamil Nadu. The majority of these children in rural and semi-urban areas have no access to EI therapy services due to a lack of rehab professionals, remoteness and high costs.
Through our EI Program:
- Parents/caregivers are provided with continuous support with the therapy to improve the lives of their children.
- System driven program with prior scheduling, family being the primary decision maker.
- Real time monitoring of the program.
- High fidelity data generated from system for decision making, planning and budgeting.
- Research for impact evaluation and validating outcomes.
- Cost effective delivery for less than $300 USD per child per year compared to $1,500 USD from traditional centre based approach in Tamil Nadu where rehabilitation specialists provide therapy services.
- Paperless and eco-friendly system.
- Evidence based outcomes for advocating state level policy changes.