KRISHNAMURTHY, Vibha, 2018. Pioneering Early intervention services, training, and research in Mumbai. In: ISSOP2018 - Early Childhood Intervention: Science, Systems and Policies - Promoting Healthy Development of Vulnerable Children [online]. Bonn, Germany: DGSPJ. 27 September 2018. p. 1–120. [Accessed 4 November 2018]. Available from: https://www.issop.org/cmdownloads/krishnamurthy-issop-2018/
Background: A recent prevalence study suggests that at least one in eight children between the ages of 2 and 9 years in India has a developmental disability. The health care and education systems in India, like many other low and middle income countries (LMICs), are unable to address the needs of this population. Ummeed Child Development Center is a not for profit that was set up in 2001 to address this gap in services for children with disability
Method: Ummeed began by providing care for children with and at risk for disability using a family centered approach of service delivery. In 2008 we made the decision to use training and partnership to reach a larger number of children and families. To build the demand for these services we worked to create awareness and engage in broader advocacy for these children at an individual, national and international level. Ummeed was part of a 5 year NIH funded research project that standardised a tool for monitoring child development across four LMICs. Ummeed is actively engaged in measuring outcomes like family centered care, and impact of training and partnership.
Results: Ummeed is now an 85 person organisation with a center for service delivery as well as a separate training facility. Over 11,000 children and families have received services directly through the center. More than 1,50,000 are indirect beneficiaries through our training and partnerships. Over the last decade we have engaged with partners in other countries – both high as well as low to middle income- to create innovative training tools specific to the context of LMICs like India. In the last year alone 1519 parents, professionals, community workers, and teachers have been trained at Ummeed, and we have reached out to an additional 5698 through sensitization workshops. The four country study that Ummeed partnered in was published in Lancet Global Health in Feb 2018. Results of our study on Family Centered care have been encouraging and has helped inform the service delivery and training.
Discussion: Ummeed has created impact in the field of childhood disability in India by focussing not just on service delivery, but also on training and capacity building, advocacy and awareness, as well as research that is relevent to the local context. Ummeed’s model is potentially replicable in other low resource settings.
Authors, Institutions: Vibha Krishnamurthy, Ummeed Child Development Center