A new training in Sitapur opens doors for more children with MDVI

Children with MDVI are amongst the most vulnerable in India. When we train local community health workers, ASHAs, we take one step forward in making sure these children are identified and receive the services they need to thrive.

ASHA workers sit around a boy with MDVI, holding toys.

Accredited social health activist (ASHA) workers play a critical role in identifying children with multiple disabilities and visual impairment (MDVI). That’s why Perkins India, in partnership with Jayati Bharatam, conducted an orientation training on MDVI for 89 ASHA workers at the Community Health Centre (CHC) in the Pisawan block of Sitapur. ASHA workers serve as the bridge between the local community and the health system in rural areas. After identifying children with MDVI, ASHA workers can connect children with the health services and intervention they need to thrive.

Because children with disabilities are often overlooked, it is important to train ASHA workers to understand and recognize the challenges of children with MDVI, and to identify such cases in the community. If children with MDVI are not identified, they risk losing out on the health and education services which will allow them to learn and grow.

This training marked the first time ASHA workers in Pisawan received special training to understand the challenges of children with MDVI and what to look for. During the training, the ASHA workers were given an orientation about MDVI through various simulation activities in order to understand the needs of children with MDVI. For example, the ASHA workers were blindfolded and then guided one another to get around so as to experience some of the obstacles these children face.

One ASHA worker participates in discussion during the training.

The ASHA workers also had the opportunity to interact with and observe children with MDVI in a practical way as they learned to recognize strengths and areas of need, along with learning how to identify a child with MDVI.

After the training, ASHA worker Ms. Urmila Devi shared, “This training was an eye opener for me and after interacting with these children, I realized that children with MDVI can learn and can benefit so much from the right intervention. I gained several insights and could observe the strengths of children with MDVI.”

With this training, 89 ASHA workers are freshly equipped with the tools and understanding they need to identify children with MDVI and connect them with the right services to learn and thrive – making these children count and enabling them to become part of their communities.

A boy with MDVI holds two balloons, his head tilted and eyes gazing toward one.

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