Jordan, January 11, 2018
Jordan underequipped for early diagnosis of disability — study

Although early intervention services are considered crucial to diagnose disability in early childhood, most of the centres providing these services are located only in Amman, with none being present in Mafraq and Ajloun, a study launched on Wednesday found.

Early intervention services are provided for children between 2 and 5 years of age who suffer a disability or delayed growth problems. They include assessment, referral and rehabilitation services along with medical, educational, social and psychological services, according to the National Assessment Criteria of Early Intervention Programmes and Services in Jordan, which was issued by the Higher Council for Affairs of Persons with Disabilities (HCD) in 2016.

The survey found that, among 260 facilities providing programmes for people with disabilities across the Kingdom, only 64 provide early intervention services.

The study, which was conducted in cooperation with the Bana Centre for Consultation, Research and Training, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Development, also presented detailed information about centres providing early intervention services, their employees and an assessment of their programmes.

Ahmad Hamdan, a researcher and clinical psychologist at Bana Centre, said that the programmes used in these centres were found to be 'ineffective and Outdated', focusing on diagnosis assessment rather than training programmes and tools needed for the children's development and growth.

Overall, 33.8 per cent of the early intervention programmes targeted mental disabilities, 19.7 served people with movement disability, 19 per cent were targeted at developmental disabilities and 14 per cent for hearing disabilities.

According to the study, only 6.7 per cent of the centres that provide early intervention services received international accreditation and 44.4 per cent apply total quality criteria.

Early intervention is essential in preventing the development of a person’s disability through an early diagnosis and the identification of suited programmes to improve the care of the patient, HCD President Senator Muhanad Azzeh said.

Azzeh stressed that the study comes as part of the HCD’s efforts to enhance the services provided to people with disabilities following the publication of the 2017 law for people with disabilities.

jordantimes