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PR No.86 BISP Joins Hands With Specialized Organizations For Mentally Challenged Beneficiary Children Islamabad: March 10, 2016

A joint delegation of WHO, Human Development Research Foundation, Mental Health Innovation Network (MHIN) and Overseas Development Institute called on Minister of State and Chairperson BISP, MNA Marvi Memon at BISP Secretariat. The purpose of the meeting was to find the common denominator between the organizations so that concerted efforts may be initiated for the welfare of children with learning disability in the country.

The members of the delegation included Dr. Dan Chifhlom, Ms. Agnes Pecker, Ms. Josephine Tsui, Prof. Atif Rehman, Dr. Usman Hamdani and Dr. Siham Sikandar.

The delegation apprised Chairperson BISP of an initiative undertaken by MHIN with the assistance of WHO for the welfare of mentally challenged children in tehsil Gujar Khan. It was informed that in the pilot phase of the initiative, 70 families of two union councils of Gujar Khan were identified and champion mothers were trained through psycho-social empowerment programmes to mitigate the negative effects of mental disability of the children. Currently, 3,000 families of Gujar Khan have been identified and MHIN with the assistance of other national and international organizations aims to scale up this initiative at national level. For training of champion mothers tablet based device is used. This initiative focuses on educating disabled children, women empowerment and anti-stigma campaign by utilizing WHO based innovative interventions packages.

Chairperson BISP, during the meeting, said that there is a need to identify BISP families from amongst 3,000 families of Gujar Khan as the starting step of the cooperation. She said that BISP’s database in the form of Demographic Directory contains details of mentally disabled children and the resurvey of BISP’s National Socio Economic Registry (NSER) will also include this demographic aspect. She added that BISP would like to enter into long term and countrywide scale of cooperation with these specialized organizations for benefit of such children.

Secretary BISP, while discussing details of the cooperation, offered to facilitate these organizations by linking them with other relevant organizations. Moreover, he said that BISP is ready to initiate coordination for empowering needy population and to carry out research related endeavors.

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