Supporting Children with Disabilities in Pakistan

by MAITS - Multi-Agency International Training and Support
Supporting Children with Disabilities in Pakistan
Supporting Children with Disabilities in Pakistan
Supporting Children with Disabilities in Pakistan
Supporting Children with Disabilities in Pakistan
Supporting Children with Disabilities in Pakistan
Supporting Children with Disabilities in Pakistan
Supporting Children with Disabilities in Pakistan
Supporting Children with Disabilities in Pakistan
Supporting Children with Disabilities in Pakistan
Supporting Children with Disabilities in Pakistan
Aasiya delivering MAITS' training
Aasiya delivering MAITS' training

Dear Friends and Supporters of MAITS Community Health Worker project in Pakistan,

Many thanks to all of you that have donated to MAITS’ Community Health Worker project, which is providing community workers and families of children with developmental disabilities with the skills they need to help the children thrive.

The three key elements of the programme are:

  1. Training disability therapists to be able to roll out our Community Health Worker programme as master therapists.
  2. Those master therapists then train community workers and provide them with ongoing support and guidance in working with families
  3. The Community Health Workers then provide practical guidance to families on how to best support their children.

Important achievement of the MAITS’ Community Health Worker programme

We are delighted to share that this programme, which we piloted originally in Jamaica, in partnership with the Nathan Ebanks Foundation won a merit award at the World Cerebral Palsy Awards 2018.

This project in Pakistan is the same MAITS’ project based on the same model, adapted for the Pakistan context.

Update

Thanks to your kind donations, we have able to train 6 more Master Trainers who are training local community workers in Karachi. This brings us to a total of 12 fully trained Master Trainers since the beginning of this project.

So far, 13 Community Health Workers have benefitted from MAITS training and are using the skills they have learned to directly support the children they are working with.

These Community Health Workers are now continuing to use the programme during home visits to children with disabilities and their families in the community. Alongside promoting and improving the health of these children, the CHWs indispensable work also includes encouraging awareness and acceptance of neurodevelopmental conditions within wider society. As one of our Master Trainers, Aasiya Sachwani, who is an Assistant Professor and Director of Speech and Language and Hearing Sciences at Ziauddin University said, this encouragement “ensures that every child is reaching their full potential, both within their homes and on a larger scale within their communities.” (See photo above of Aasiya providing training). 

Our Master Trainers are highly qualified disability therapists who roll out this training to community workers as volunteer trainers in their spare time. Some of the trainers from this project, Aasiya and Ali, who is also a speech and language expert at Ziauddin University, went as volunteers to Sri Lanka in January to deliver the same training there (as part of a different project) using the skills they learnt on this master training course.

Word is spreading about the programme and our master trainers and partners from Ziauddin University have agreed to train a new cohort of 10 Community Health Workers through in Sikanderabad project. The continuation of the Master Trainers work with Community Health Workers will allow the training to diffuse to more families, improving the lives and health of more children with disabilities.

All this work continues to boost the level of knowledge and competency in the field, as well as the confidence, capabilities and awareness of child health amongst the trainee and trained Community Health Workers. This vital work is expanding MAITS’ vision for sustainable, accessible health services to all children.

We have also had requests from charities in the Punjab area of Pakistan and Rawalpindi and Lahore to roll out the programme and we are fundraising for this.

If you click on the link below and donate over $100 between 2pm on Thursday 18th July and 5am on Friday 19th July, Global Giving will match fund your donation by at least 15%!

https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/support-for-those-with-disabilities-in-pakistan/ 

You can keep up to date with the project’s progress, and all MAITS’ other work, on Twitter at @MAITS_Charity and on Facebook at MAITS.Charity

You can also read more about the background of the project on pages 15 and 16 of MAITS' annual report:

https://www.maits.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Annual-Report-2018-1.pdf

Thank you so much once again for your support for MAITS' Community Health Worker project.

Kindest regards,

Esther

Our community worker training in Karachi
Our community worker training in Karachi
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Dear Friends and Supporters of MAITS Community Health Worker project in Pakistan,

The Community Health Worker programme has been moving along. Your funding has enabled us to do two key things:

1) Provide training to master trainers on working with community workers and children with disabilities to support them in their own homes

2) For those master trainers to train the community workers and provide them with ongoing support and guidance in working with families.

As a result of your funding, the community workers are being trained and some have completed the training. As an additional activity, two of the master trainers were able to support and deliver further training in Sri Lanka as a result of the skills they had learnt through this project. Here is a bit more detail about our most recent achievements.

Training conducted and Community Workers starting to support families directly

We are conducting training through 10 Master Trainers (Physical, Occupational, Speech Language & Psycho therapists) from health care institutes.  Thanks to your support, 6 of these master trainers were trained in the initial training and a further 4 have since been trained.

These 10 master trainers are currently training a team of 13 Community Health Workers in Karachi. As these Community Health Workers are part of the same communities and have direct interaction with families therefore they can provide support and knowledge to the families with disabled children in their own language and in keeping with the local context. It also means the project is sustainable as we are building skills within the community. 

The teams have reported back that through the training sessions, the level of knowledge and competency as well as the Community Workers levels of confidence and awareness of child health and development have increased.

The Community Workers we have trained are already conducting home visits in communities and are helping and training families to develop skills which are needed to support their children with disabilities so each child can function and adjust in environment independently (in immediate family, and society). That will create awareness and acceptance of children with disabilities in the community.

At the moment 3 Community Health workers have completed training in one health care institute and they are working in community. Further 10 motivated Community Workers from another institution are in final stages of training and they will be fully trained and supporting families in the field with families with children with disabilities in Karachi from April 2019. (They are having to do the course over a longer period of time to fit around the time they need to spend working in the field).

The master trainers from Pakistan have also been using the skills they learnt as part of this project to train others in Sri Lanka

In addition to the training that has been carried out in Pakistan, two of the master trainers who have been running the programme in Pakistan used the skills they learned as a result of your funding, to support Dr Shabnam Rangwala, one of the co-authors of the training programme to deliver training in Sri Lanka under a separate project. 

I went along to observe the training and meet the two master trainers from Pakistan, Aasiya Sachwani and Ali Punjani whose training was inspiring and informative. Together these three trainers trained 35 midwives and social workers who work in the field directly with children with disabilities. The feedback we had from the participants was that they had learnt so many skills and techniques for supporting children with disabilities on issues such as feeding, positioning, building muscle strength and developing speech.  But they also said that what they had taken away from the training was a change in mind set that meant that they would see the children's potential much more and would work with them to develop this. 

You can see video clips of the training where we worked directly with children and families on MAITS_Charity Twitter and Facebook. (See links below).

You can also read more about the background of the project on pages 15 and 16 of MAITS' annual report:

https://www.maits.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Annual-Report-2018-1.pdf

Thank you so much once again for your support for MAITS' Community Health Worker project.

Kindest regards,

Esther

Esther Hamilton

MAITS' CEO

Links:


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We are pleased to say that the Community Health Worker project is moving ahead. We have identified additional Master Trainers who will now be able to train and benefit more people. A meeting was held on 12th November 2018 for primary and potential Master Trainers to discuss the programme together. As of 24th November, Master Trainers have begun the 8 days of MAITS training, after which they will begin rollout of the programme to local CHWs.

 

The Team

MAITS is working with four local institutions in Pakistan; Ziauddin University, MEANS Institute, Aga Khan University and ACELP. Representatives from these institutions make up our initial team of Master Trainers, including:

2 Occupational Therapists, 2 Physical Therapists, 3 Speech and Language Therapists, 4 Psychologists.

Ziauddin University is inducting an additional Physical Therapist and Speech Therapist to the Master Trainer team. Their team met and discussed the program in detail with the Head of Family Medicine who is also responsible for the Public Health Centre at Ziauddin Hospital, she has offered 3 hours of her time per week.

Translation Work

MAITS has provided stationery, data collection forms and training manuals for the four institutions. The team in Pakistan has made some requests for additional materials. We managed to identify trainee therapists and clinicians from Ziauddin University who have agreed to translate our manuals into Urdu at a reduced rate. They will form one group consisting of Physical Therapy students and the other consisting of the Speech and Language Therapy department’s interns. All Ziauddin Master Trainers are meeting in the first week of December to finalise the translation teams and timeline. All translators will receive incentives for their work and a certificate from MAITS.

Local Coordination

We have decided how to monitor the project with the CHWs. Each CHW has to train and monitor at least 4-5 families and must collect data accordingly. Feedback from will be collected from them biweekly and it will be overseen by Aga Khan and Ziauddin Universities.

 

MAITS would like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful donors, without whom this project would not be possible! Thank you for supporting us in helping some of Pakistan’s most vulnerable children and their families.

If you would like to continue to support highly vulnerable children in Pakistan, please follow the link to our project page. It is very simple to set up a monthly recurring donation of any amount, and this money goes a long way for us and the beneficiaries in Pakistan as GlobalGiving often matches recurring donations.

https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/support-for-those-with-disabilities-in-pakistan/?show=recurring

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Community Health Worker Project- Pakistan (September 4th, 2018

This has been a busy time for the MAITS Community Health Worker project in Pakistan! We have hired a local coordinator locally to coordinate training and provide logistical support as up until now we were coordinating the project from the UK and having someone working locally on a part-time basis makes a lot more sense! Our coordinator arranged a meeting of all of our master trainers, including local charities MEANS and ACELP and Ziauddin University to organise the roll out of the training. Trainers from Aga Khan will join the project at a later date. A group of 5 Community Health Workers (CHW) in Karachi, Pakistan has been agreed; we also have Master Trainers who will train a further 2 therapists in their organisations.

Training/Beneficiaries

Over the summer, all the Master Trainers met up to agree on the process of rolling-out training of Community Workers. This training is beginning in September and there will be 2-3 weeks training for the Community Workers, after which time, they will start directly using their disability training with beneficiaries from 1st Oct 18.

For the first phase we will have 15 CHWs. Each CHW works with around 4-5 children with disabilities. That means overall, we have a minimum of 60 and maximum of 75 direct beneficiaries for this part of the project.

The Plan

  • The CHWs will collect data on the children they are supporting and the ways in which they are being supported on a fortnightly basis and this will be submitted to our local coordinator to collate.
  • At the end of November, one of our partners, who is a Professor and Principal in the Faculty of Speech and Language and Hearing at the Ziauddin University will evaluate the data and look at whether to keep the visits fortnightly or extend the evaluation.

Manual Translation/Stationery

We have identified translators to undertake the translation of the Community Health Worker manual and Parent’s Guide into Urdu. This is a MAITS’ resource that was developed to help Community Workers to support families in their own homes and covers a range of neurodevelopmental disabilities (disabilities that affect the way the brain works). The translators are a team of graduate therapists from Ziauddin University, to make sure that the manuals are translated in a way that is accurate but also in language that is accessible to parents. As well as this, we have made translated Urdu copies of the manual in order to effectively support families, including extra blank pages to enable CHWs to take notes in their language. They will only be using pictures with the parents, but their hand-written notes will be helpful in reminding them the content.

MAITS will issue Master Trainer certificates to the newly trained Master Trainers.

We have provided 300 sets of evaluation forms for the organisations have been provided for training and evaluation purposes.

We, at MAITS, are very optimistic about the Community Health Worker Project in Pakistan and, once again, would like to take this opportunity to thank our donors, without whom the project would not be possible! Thank you for supporting us in helping some of Pakistan’s most vulnerable children and their families.

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The response to our GlobalGiving campaign has been fantastic!  We are very grateful to everybody who has donated to MAITS' Community Health Worker project in Pakistan!

Since the campaign started, we now have the funds in place needed to run the project in Karachi and surrounding areas.  Our therapists are meeting this month to finalise the dates for the first training of the Community Health Workers who will support families directly in their homes and have selected the first Community Workers that they will be training. 

Trainers and their seniors are planning for an initial roll-out in Karachi to organisations running community programmes and known by Ziauddin University Hospital and ACELP). For this initial Karachi roll-out, the trainers may choose to train all together initially, and may then break up into teams to take turns to train on different sections of the programme.

Translations of resources for parents, which teach families more about their child's disability and techniques they can use to support their children from exercises and feeding techniques will be made available in the local language Urdu.  We are also currently arranging for translation of the resources for Community Workers, so that they can more effectively support families. This resource will also be available on the MAITS' website in our resources section in Urdu, which is excellent as we are building a library of resources in different languages to share. 

We have identified some clinicians who will check the translations to ensure accuracy in terms of the technical input and how accessible the language will be for parents/carers.

We have also developed the following plan:

  • We are identifying a local administrator to arrange for printing of the ‘Guide for Parents’ and ‘Working with Children with Developmental Disabilities and their Caregivers’ for the trainers, as required.
  • Local administrator to organise for the first 8-day training programme to take place for Community Health Workers in Karachi.
  • Trainers will supervise 3 months of roll-out with assistance of local administrator – Ensuring that the Community Workers are receiving weekly supervision from the Trainers and that data is being collected by the CHWs that will be used for the project evaluation. This is collected using forms that are contained within the programme itself and which the CHWs will be trained to complete.

Having just received the funding for this project, we wanted to say how grateful we are to all our donors, as we would not been able to proceed with the project without your support.  48 individuals donated to help support some very vulnerable children in Pakistan who will now receive support in their own homes. We are delighted to say that the interest the project has generated has meant that we have now had requests for this training to be run in India, Sri Lanka and continue in Nepal as well. 


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Organization Information

MAITS - Multi-Agency International Training and Support

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Maits_Charity
Project Leader:
Sadia Mirza
London, United Kingdom
$31,664 raised of $35,000 goal
 
256 donations
$3,336 to go
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