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On 1st June, the International Children's Day, we start the project ‘Parent-guardian the foundation of Azerbaijan’. We target it at Azerbaijani parents of children with disabilities, guardians and personnel working with developmental therapy.
On the part of PMM, it is being carried out by physiotherapists Izabella Hetman and Małgorzata Foryt, and the partner is the Azerbaijan Physiotherapy Association in Baku. Project activities will be taking place just in Baku as well as in the region of Ganja.
Plans within the project include: home visits and meetings at rehabilitation centres with instructions for parents, individual patient consultations with participation of a guardian and the attending therapist, as well as a happening by the sea. The assumed objective is to prepare and hand over to the parents and guardians instruction films on proper care assisting the development of a disabled child and to create support groups for parents in both regions.
According to statistical data, in 2011 Azerbaijan had 59,207 disabled children (UNICEF, Situation Assessment: People with Disabilities in Azerbaijan, 2011). The rehabilitation at the Rehabilitation Centre in Baku run by Azerbaijan Physiotherapy Association (AzPTA) is attended by 10 children daily, while in the Ganja region 7-8 children take advantage of rehabilitation services every day. A major problem in developing countries, such as Azerbaijan, is the low social awareness of disabilities and lack of acceptance for a disabled member of family. Most commonly, they are secluded people, with no prospects for education, and consequently for active professional life. Parents of ill children or children affected by disabilities of various kinds are not informed by the doctor about the necessity of conducting rehabilitation, which affects the future of their children. On the other hand, the medical personnel has very few opportunities for further training in rehabilitation and modern neurodevelopmental techniques. As a result of these circumstances, disabled people are stigmatised and pushed to the margin of social life with no possibility of experiencing the world.
The project is a continuation of the collaboration between Polish Medical Mission and Azerbaijan Physiotherapy Association within the framework of the 2015 project.