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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 68-72

Home-based early intervention for children with neurodevelopmental disorders by community therapy providers supported by a specialized mobile application in Purulia, West Bengal

Department of Pediatrics, MGM Medical College, Kishanganj, Bihar; Udbhaas Child Development Centre, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Nandita Chattopadhyay
22M, Srinath Mukherjee Lane, Kolkata - 700 030, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipcares.ipcares_67_22

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Background: Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD) are a major global public health problem, particularly affecting children from the lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs). In India, nearly 2.3 million children below 6 years of age have some developmental disability, of whom many live in rural and semi-urban areas with minimum access to early intervention services. We attempted to reach out to such a population at their doorstep with affordable care and management through home-based early intervention (HBEI) programs provided by local field level workers (hitherto referred as community therapy providers [CTP]). A group of local youth, with a short training on NDD and EI methods, have been providing regular, weekly therapy sessions to the afflicted children at the latter's residence, under constant virtual guidance and monitoring by specialists, with the help of a mobile application. The children were initially screened and assessed by our specialist team, who assigned the therapy program and demonstrated the techniques to the CTPs. Clinical Description: We are sharing a series of 8 cases, ranging from cerebral palsy to Global Developmental Delay and speech delay, who have received HBEI for 3–5 months, to demonstrate the impact of the program. Management and Outcome: The children have shown improvement in all domains with the intensive and regular services. Moreover, empathy, concern, and inclusion of parents in therapy sessions rejuvenated the families. Conclusion: Provision of HBEI through field workers may be a cost-effective solution to the formidable problem of childhood disability among the under-privileged rural community. The electronic tracking system has proved very useful in remote monitoring.

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