President for inclusive approach towards persons with disabilities


President Dr Arif Alvi on Friday stressed an inclusive approach towards persons with disabilities in all areas of life particularly education to help them make active members of society.Except for a few mental disorders, he said, the system should accommodate children with different abilities in regular schools and provide tailor-made jobs to them in accordance with their skill set.

Addressing the 5th Cerebral Palsy Conference here at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), he said physically and mentally challenged children needed care and empathy from the society and also the readiness to accept them as any other child. Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture.

President Alvi said the persons with physical, visual and hearing deficiencies had the same intellectual capacity as other people and thus needed support by the society to help them function better.

The president emphasized raising awareness in the society to be empathetic towards the persons with physical and mental weaknesses.

He regretted that the children with cerebral palsy are often stereotyped and called for shunning taboos affiliated with them.

He mentioned that First Lady Samina Alvi through awareness campaigns put her best efforts in highlighting the cause of persons with special needs besides stressing facilities for them at public places.

President Alvi said training of doctors was very important for taking curative measures, adding that good professional training with the help of technology could help the health experts play their due role in mainstreaming the persons with disabilities. The president recalled that the country’s visually-challenged diplomat Saima Saleem effectively represented Pakistan at the United Nations and delivered a speech using braille.

He also laid focus on preventive treatment to reduce rate of malnutrition, stunting and maternal mortality. In this regard, he said, educating the masses and the role of midwives was important.

He expressed confidence that the conference would help raise consciousness about cerebral palsy.

President Pakistan Academy of Cerebral Palsy Professor Javaid Iqbal said cerebral palsy affects two out of 1,000 children and causes multiple physical, mental and other problems. He said the academy aimed at creating interdisciplinary forum to improve communication and teamwork in providing services and care for children with cerebral palsy.