Exploring access to government-led support for children with disabilities in Bangladesh
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While access to support for individuals with disabilities has attracted international attention, children with disabilities and their families continue to face a range of barriers that limit their timely access to the needed support, including health service. This is even worse for children with disabilities living in resource poor settings like Bangladesh. The objective of this study was to determine the extent to which families of children with disabilities have knowledge about and access to government support for their children with disabilities in Bangladesh. We employed a cross-sectional study among 393 families of children with disabilities who sought services from the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed for their children with disabilities in Bangladesh. We used chi-square test to measure the association between categorical variables and, Mann-Whitney U-test to compare mean across different sub-groups. Overall, family members of children with disabilities have limited knowledge about and access to government support. We found a significant association between knowledge and access to government support (p<0.001). Family members with children with disabilities aged younger than six years had less access to government support (p<0.001). We thus concluded with an urgent call on government agencies and service providers to provide relevant and timely information to families of children with disabilities to enable them to access the needed support.
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