[AI] Strong link between child disability and poverty

KARAN GUPTA karanzg at gmail.com
Tue Apr 20 15:46:57 EDT 2010


I second that.

On 4/21/10, Adhimoolam Vetrivel Murugan <vadhimoolam at gmail.com> wrote:
> The article below is written largely in the context of UK. I am sure
> that the situation is similar in India as well.
>
> Vetri.
>
> Date:21/04/2010 URL:
> http://www.thehindu.com/2010/04/21/stories/2010042153841100.htm
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
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> Strong link between child disability and poverty
>
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> Randeep Ramesh
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> Wealthy families in Britain are a third less likely to have a disabled
> child, a statistic that reveals an alarming social gradient because
> poorer families unlucky enough to have such children are pushed
> further into poverty by the pressures of caring for them, according to
> research.
>
> Despite 15 years of legislation attempting to ease the burden on
> affected families, the highest prevalence of childhood disability is
> found in poorest families, academics at Warwick University found.
>
> Extra costs
>
> In the paper, published in the journal BMC Pediatrics, researchers
> found that households with a disabled child were £50-a-week worse off
> than those without. This is despite the fact that the extra costs of
> bringing up a disabled child means families need an extra 18 per cent
> in income. Nationally, this amounts to a heavy burden on the 950,000
> families identified in the paper as having disabled children.
>
> “We think the official [figures] underestimates the actual numbers by
> 250,000 ... and the huge inequalities that the paper clearly shows
> that is of some concern,” said Clare Blackburn of Warwick University's
> school of health and social studies. Disability appears to be not
> simply an accident of birth, she said, but a confluence of
> “intergenerational poverty” and modern medical progress.
>
> Ms Blackburn said the exact extent to which “factors such as low
> income precede or follow disability is difficult to tell, but what we
> know is that poor diet and stressful living conditions do increase the
> chances of premature birth and low birth weight, which are indicators
> of future disability. Thanks to science, these babies live longer and
> medicine now keeps alive disabled children who may have died 10, 20
> years ago.”
>
> The Warwick researchers point out that debt was more common in those
> families with disabled children: the parents were unable to keep up
> with any local property taxes, water and telephone bills, and were not
> likely to be able to afford basic items such as a family holiday once
> a year, a bicycle, or even two pairs of shoes. “It is a serious social
> gradient disabled families face,” said Ms Blackburn. “A disabled baby
> needs more nappies. Families' ability to work grows difficult, and
> finding childcare is a real burden. Households with disabled children
> will depend more on social security benefits and are faced with the
> additional financial costs associated with caring for a disabled
> child.”
>
> Struggling to survive
>
> Doctors said that Andrew Lomax's seven-year-old daughter Emily would
> not make it “out of hospital” aged two weeks. Born healthy, she
> stopped breathing as a tiny baby and those 20 minutes without oxygen
> left her with a severe form of cerebral palsy. She was registered
> blind, unable to swallow, walk and breathe without an aspirator, so
> her two parents gave up their jobs to look after her and their two
> other children.
>
> “Our income is £15,000 a year — about a third of what it was before,”
> said Andrew. “It's all [social] benefits, and I am a proud man who
> does not like to say it but family holidays come from the kindness of
> charities.” Andrew says that he cannot afford to buy his elder son the
> Nintendo he craves. He is left scouring local papers for presents. His
> income is eaten up by fuel and petrol bills. “We have to keep the
> house very warm for Emily, who is susceptible to pneumonia and the
> cost of running the specially designed car is prohibitive. It only
> does six kilometres per litre. Most months we are hit by bank charges
> and missed payments. I try to juggle, but it is robbing Peter to pay
> Paul.” — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2010
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-- 
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Kindest Regards,
-Karan




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