L’Arche Zimbabwe is targeting to equip local midwives and mothers with information that helps in the development of new born children through detecting intellectual disabilities early.
L’Arche Zimbabwe is a home for persons with intellectual disabilities, preparing the ground for each person touched by disability to shape their own unique role in society.
In an interview with 263Chat, Occupational Therapist for Larche, Amos Zavare said they are trying to reach out to midwives to boost their knowledge so that they can conduct proper assessment on children.
“So there’s an assessment that is done immediately after a child is born called the APGAR assessment where a child’s Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity and Respiration. So with midwives as they are the people who conduct this assessment, we’d want to do a Refresher course on what they are assessing and the importance. Then share with them some tips they can give to new mothers who give birth to children with low APGAR scores,” said Zavare.
Zavare also condemned stigmatization of people with intellectual disabilities saying they too have rights and feelings like everyone else.
During a meeting on Sexual Reproductive Health Issues (SRH) jointly hosted by Larche and Special Olympics Zimbabwe last Friday, Zavare said they embarked on this meeting to capacitate people with intellectual disabilities so that they can be equipped.
“We are trying to change the narrative, change how people see people with intellectual disabilities so that they know sexual reproductive health issues. People out there have a belief that these people don’t have sex and we are trying to direct the narrative so that they can be accepted in the society,” added Zavare.
“As a society, we need to refrain from engaging in practices that perpetuate the stigmatization of persons with disabilities, but we should recognize their contribution, accept difference, encourage disclosure, challenge negative attitudes and behavior and seek to support and empower them,” he said.