Past Projects

Past Projects

Report on regular, ongoing Health Clinics
By Milton Anthony Perera – Project Holder – VACD – 25th July 2012

In response to requests by parents, a special clinic for children with disabilities has since been arranged by VADC in collaboration with Base Hospital, Diyatalawa.

This clinic is led by Dr. (Mrs.) Kumuduni Cooray and with praiseworthy support and enthusiasm by the doctors and staff at the hospital. We are also deeply indebted to Dr Ranjith Amarakoon, Medical Superintendent of the hospital for his support.

Clinics would be held every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month and commenced on 25th April, 2012. So far 7 such clinics have been successfully held and arrangements for the ones due in August are already in place. Children attending these clinics were selected from Special Education Units of urban schools in the Bandarawela Educational Circuit; several children from the rural schools and also from among those who have finished their schooling, as well as those who do not at present attend school, totaling 41 participating children. 

Support given by the teachers of the Special Education Unit towards our efforts is certainly remarkable. 

Meanwhile, a meeting was held on 23rd July, 2012 at the auditorium of the Bandarawela Base Hospital to appraise the clinics held thus far. The participation of children and parents, the parents’ responsibilities for these children’s welfare plus the experiences and suggestions of doctors were among the subjects discussed at the meeting.
Mr. Milton Perera initiated the discussion by explaining its purpose and encouraging all attendees to air their views on the following subjects;
• Effects of the present Special Clinic program on children with disabilities
• Parents’ attitudes and participation
• Carrying out the prescribed  treatment plans, and any problems encountered in doing so
• Difficulties faced in treating children with disabilities
• Significant plans to build a better future for these children
Initially the mothers were invited to share their thoughts, which were;
• Gratitude for receiving this opportunity on behalf of their children and for the guidance of Dr. (Mrs.) Kumuduni Cooray and support of the medical crew which has given them great strength and hope.
• Appreciation of the fruitful inception of the program, and of the results which are already being experienced
• The ‘status report’ issued to every child which keeps them well informed of their state of health
• Difficulties faced by parents as well as children as a result of being directed to Kandy/ Badulla Hospitals for further medical attention for hearing and sight issues.
• The behavior of some children being an obstacle in regular clinic attendance
• The clinic has enabled the parents to view their children in a whole new way
Dr. Kumuduni Cooray and the other doctors also spoke on the following;
• The psychological and social development of these children being dependent on parents and the importance of sustaining their present enthusiasm and commitment
• Constant observation of the behavior of the children being necessary and all health problems to be brought to the attention of the doctors
• Difficulties in speech in some children was put down to lack of communication at home and parents were advised to set aside time to give their children their undivided attention
• The importance of parents following the advice given at clinics, and submitting the required medical reports on a regular basis was stressed.
• To the parents of children with difficult behavior who find it difficult to attend clinic regularly, the importance of doing was stressed as this would lead to more manageable children when  their health and behavior issues are addressed
• The importance of adhering to the prescribed exercises/ physiotherapy was stressed to those parents who had been discouraged as they had been expecting medicines being prescribed after the medical examinations 

Finally the teachers participated in the discussion as follows;
• Excessively large groups of children hinder the teachers’ ability to maintain discipline in the classroom
• The teachers’ inability to pay individual attention to children through the many group activities
• Lack of proper training in working with children with disabilities
• Lack of equipment and classroom facilities

Suggestions
• Identify the special abilities and needs of the children with disabilities
• Identify the facilities required for the Special Education Units in schools, as some schools lack basic needs such as proper toilet facilities
• Counseling programs to be organized ideally for groups of 10 mothers, to which  the Base hospital doctors have agreed to help implement
• Find support to improve the Children’s Unit in the Base hospital and supply the equipment which is currently lacking
• Assist in helping to improve the standard of living of the families of the children with disabilities as their troubles are exacerbated due to financial hardship and social stigma and discrimination
• Provide hope to parents by inspiring them with  real life success stories of children with disabilities who have overcome their difficulties to lead better lives
• Include children who are yet to participate in these activities


“One should not believe that either any government or an organization could act alone to achieve their dreams and objectives. However, if everyone comes together and if we are truly dedicated and believe strongly in our social and moral responsibility to care for the disabled children and their parents, then we can through our collective efforts and commitment reach our noble goals, “This would brighten up the world of the under privileged”

Milton A. Perera
25.07.12
List of participants
Base Hospital - Diyatalawa
• Dr. Ranjith Amarakoon  (Medical Superintendent)
• Dr. Mrs. Kumuduni Cooray (Consultant Pediatrician))
• Dr. Pushpakumara Weerakoon
• Dr. Naleen Athauda
• Dr. Mrs. Tharanga Gunarathne
• Dr.N.C. Weerawanni
• Dr. (Mrs.) T.I.M. Perera
• Dr. A.H.N.C. Aluthwela
• Dr. D.M.C. Bandara
• Mr. Eranga Gunawardana (Physio Therapist)
• Ms. Nimali Aluthwela ( Occupation Therapist)
• Sister Sadheena Wickramasinghe
Teachers
•  Mrs. R.M. Nandawathi ( Dharmashoka Vidyalaya)
• Mrs. Sivapakiyamadi Velu ( Razik Fareed Vidyalaya)

Parents
• Mrs. A.J. M. Premalatha
• Mrs. D.M. Sunethra
• Mrs. Y.M. Mallika
• Mrs. Hurul Sakiya
• Mrs. R. Ariyawathi
• Mrs. M.C. Shriyani
• Mrs. A. Senanayaka
• Mrs. Padmalatha Pathirana
• Mrs. D.M. Sarojini
• Mrs. Ratnam Parameshwari
• Mrs. Kusum Ranasinghe
• Mr. A.G. Wimalasena
• Mr. R.M. Samarakoon