070517Handicap International rpt Cambodia

Secondary Prevention of Disabilities in the Cambodian Provinces of Siem Reap and Takeo:
Perceptions of and use of the health system to address health conditions associated with disability in children
Report prepared for Handicap International Belgium

Factors in Cambodia that put children at particular risk for disability include lack of antenatal care or skilled delivery assistance for pregnant women, as well as serious childhood illnesses that are often untreated by trained health providers.

Although it is clear that problems during early childhood may lead to disability, we wanted to know what the critical historical health factors were in households with an identified child with a disability. Thus, we undertook a survey of 500 households in the provinces of Siem Reap and Takeo where there was a child with a disability. We asked questions to learn what caused the disability, how the family had used the health system, and how they perceived the services they had used.

Issues Identified from Study Results
• Many children who end up with permanent disabling conditions have congenital
problems (associated with lack of antenatal and postnatal care, or treatable health
problems) very early in life
• Families do not seek needed treatment because they are concerned about costs, don’t
know what services are available, or don’t realize that conditions in early infancy can
lead to permanent disability (and may be treatable)
• There are currently very limited services available to help infants and children with
developmental disabilities, and many do not end up attending school
• Parents of children with disabilities have limited education, time and money to
address their children’s needs and may not be aware of existing resources