Welcome to the last newsletter of 2017! This time of a year gives us all an opportunity to look back, as well as forward. We have had a busy time in 2017!
We have focused a lot of our efforts on impact evaluations, including looking at the effectiveness of: Disability Allowance in the Maldives; a family support programme for parents of children with Cerebral Palsy in Ghana; distribution of hearing aids in Guatemala; physical rehabilitation in Myanmar (with report launched last month!); club foot services in Africa, and primary eye care in Rwanda. We have also worked on two trials – assessing the effectiveness of violence prevention strategies in schools in Uganda and improvement in WASH in Malawi for people with disabilities. We have conducted research to evaluate the inclusion of people with disabilities in different areas of life, such as in health care services generally, health and rehabilitation services in Malawi; menstrual hygiene management in Nepal, humanitarian crises in Ukraine and Tanzania, and social protection in Nepal and Vietnam. We have also started an exciting project to further develop participatory methods for research with adolescents with disabilities, and are developing and testing an intervention for carers of children affected by Zika in Brazil.
Looking forward to 2018, we will carry on growing our research agenda. We are also excited about co-hosting the International Conference on Evidence in Global Disability and Health together with the Public Health Foundation of India on February 26-27, 2018 in Hyderabad, India. Our MOOC (online course) on Global Disability and Health will also launch at that conference, and will be freely available for all! We are planning an exciting programme of seminars at LSHTM – watch this space for more information!
Come and join us for the last of 2017 on Tuesday 5 December (17.30-18.30, John Snow Theatre B, LSHTM) to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. We will host a Film Screening and Panel Discussion showing an excerpt from LISILOJULIKANA – The Unknown. Lisilojulikana is a drama about a Kenyan girl with Cerebral Palsy, and the event includes a special introduction by Purple Field Productions Associate Producer Colin Stevens. This will be followed by a panel discussion on projects that support inclusion of children with disabilities in low resource settings.
I would like to end by saying thank you to all our team members, colleagues, collaborators and funders in 2017. At ICED, we are looking forward to working together and engaging further in 2018. In the meantime, have a relaxing holiday and a wonderful New Year.
International Centre for Evidence in Disability, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
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Last month, we launched the report on “The Impact of Physical Rehabilitation in Myanmar”. This study was funded by the International Committee of the Red Cross, and led by Karl Blanchet and Islay Mactaggart. This research report tracks persons with lower limb amputations in Myanmar before and after they interacted with physical rehabilitation services. The study provides much needed evidence on the impact of these important services in people’s lives.
Our paper on “Childhood disability in Malawi: a population based assessment using the key informant method” was published in BMC Paediatrics. This paper reviews the methods and results of the key informant method to estimate the prevalence and type of impairments in children in Malawi, and how this information can help us to plan services. For more information on the Key Informant Method read the “Focus on” section below.
We also published “Disability, Social Functioning and School Inclusion Among Older Children And Adolescents Living With HIV In Zimbabwe” in Tropical Medicine and International Health. This paper describes the range of functional difficulties that children and adolescents with HIV experience, compared to their peers, and how this impacts on their school engagement and progress.
Since 2010, Andrew Smith, Daksha Patel and other ICED colleagues have led short courses on Public Planning for Hearing Impairment, including in Peru, Kenya, India, Pakistan, South Africa and beyond. A description of the aims, activities and achievements of this programme are reported in this month’s ENT & Audiology News.
The Ponseti method is widely used to correct club foot, but there is a lack of agreement on what constitutes a “good” result for this procedure. Tracey Smythe and colleagues conducted a systematic review, published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, to determine and evaluate how success with the Ponseti method is reported in sub-Saharan Africa, and found a wide variation and lack of consistency in the methods used.
Trichiasis is a condition whereby the eye lashes turn inwards and scratch against the eye. Surgery is given primarily to prevent blindness, but also to relieve pain and discomfort. A longitudinal study from Ethiopia, published in Wellcome Open Research, shows that eyelid surgery leads to great improvements in the ability to perform productive and leisure activities without difficulties, regardless of vision gains.
Focus On: Key Informant Method
Door-to-door surveys are often used to identify children with disabilities in low resource countries – either as beneficiaries for an intervention, or in order to estimate numbers and plan services. These surveys can be costly and time consuming, and there is often a lack of comparability between them in methods and definitions used.
The Key Informant Method (KIM) is a method developed and validated by ICED, largely funded by CBM. It allows the identification of children with different types of impairment (hearing, vision, physical, intellectual) using trained, community volunteers in the place of a door-to-door survey. These children are then examined by clinicians, either at an examination clinic or by a visiting paediatrician, to determine the nature of the impairment, and the health and rehabilitation services that the child needs. This information can benefit the children directly, but also help countries to plan suitable policies and programs.
KIM has been used in: Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kenya and Malawi. A KIM is ongoing in Malaysia, and two are planned in West African settings during 2018.
See our resource page for information on how to conduct a KIM, and the studies conducted to date.
Upcoming Seminars and Events at LSHTM
Tuesday 5 December: International Day for Persons with Disabilities Celebration and Christmas Drinks. Film showing ”The Unknown” followed by panel discussion and drinks reception. Time: 17:30-18:30, Venue: John Snow Theatre B, LSHTM.
You can find audio with power-point of past seminars available on our website
Other Seminars of Interest
10 January 2018, 1-7pm Digital Content and Disability, Wilkins Building, UCL. Registration and refreshments in the South Cloisters; seminar in the Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre
Work Experience Programme at ICED
We have launched our work experience programme for people with disabilities seeking experience in research. Please contact us if you would like to find out more about joining our team in this capacity: .
- International Conference on Evidence in Global Disability and Health, ICED and Public Health Foundation of India, February 26-27, 2018 in Hyderabad, India. Abstract submission by December 31!
- Global Mental Health: Children in Crisis. Royal Society of Medicine, London, UK, 9 January, 2018.
- 2018 Australasian Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine conference, Auckland, New Zeeland 21-24 March, 2018.
- First UCL Interdisciplinary Conference on Disability, London, May 9, 2018.We are making every effort to make all our research findings widely available, and have launched a Resource Website where you can find our key reports and manuals.
Other News of Interest
- Disabled Village Children has been revised to include new and updated information on microcephaly, and other physical and developmental disabilities.
- Register now for LSHTM’s short course in Gender Based Violence, running 12-16 February, 2018.
- Plan International has just released its report “Let Me Decide and Thrive”, focusing on girls and young women with disabilities and the barriers they face when it comes to their sexual and reproductive rights and education.
Have you seen this?
Two fabulous videos for you to enjoy in celebration of International Day of People with Disability (both 1-2 minutes).
Weʼre raising £7,600 to provide one year of physical therapy assistance for 20 children and donate 40 orthoses to children affected by microcephaly. Abracoa Microcefilia Please support us by giving a donation to ICED runners are running!