Arab Today, arab today challenge mental disability stigma
Last Updated : GMT 07:58:57
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Egypt activists

Challenge mental disability stigma

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Challenge mental disability stigma

Out of Egypt's population of around 93m
Cairo - Arab Today

Ghada Tosson waits anxiously outside an Egyptian high school in the Helwan district south of Cairo as her daughter with Down's syndrome sits her end-of-year exam.

Winning the chance to sit standard high school tests took years of fighting in a country where people with mental disabilities are often marginalised and receive little assistance.

"I'm so proud. We've been fighting for 18 years for this moment. She sat the exam like any other high schooler," says Tosson.

"No matter the result, it's proof that it can happen."

She is visibly moved as her daughter comes out of the school, smiling and looking serene.

Out of Egypt's population of around 93 million, an estimated 14 million have some form of disability, says Eglal Chenouda, director of the SETI Center, a section of Catholic charity Caritas which supports the disabled.

Three-quarters of them have a mental disability, she says. The organisations helping them are few and far between.

"Most of them are staying at home, deprived of any services," she says, adding that only two to three percent of them receive the services they need.

But activists are working to tackle public ignorance around mental disability and the stigma it carries -- something they say is as important as providing services.


 

- Integration -

That is a core part of the mission of SETI,  which stands for "Support, Education, Training for Inclusion".

Fighting stigma is a big part of the battle. Tosson says that when she was looking for nursery schools she had to contact at least 50 before she found one that would enrol her daughter.

At SETI's toddler section, four-year-old Yassin does learning activities under the care of his mother Hoda Abdelkhalek and a Caritas trainer.

Focused, the young boy with Down's syndrome stacks coloured rings around a cone.

Abdelkhalek says the family found out about his disability the day he was born. 

"It was very hard," she says. "(The doctor) told us 'your son is Mongolian'," a term used in many countries for people with the syndrome but which many consider derogatory.

Hospital staff advised her to isolate the baby in a separate room several times a day and limit his contact with his older brothers.

At SETI, she was taught the opposite. Staff urged her to integrate Yassin into the daily life of his family and the neighbourhood.

Chenouda says it is important to change public attitudes, convince people that disability is a rights issue and to "include the disability issue in all services".

But the services provided by organisations like SETI fall far short of the huge demand.

 - 'Not enough -

Egypt has just 68 institutions able to provide care for the mentally disabled, says Khaled Aly, who heads the rehabilitation department of the ministry of social solidarity. 

"It's not enough compared to the number of mentally disabled people, but we're on the right track," he says.

Aly says a new bill set for a parliamentary vote next year will give the government more responsibilities and improve communication between the health and education ministries.

He adds that the ministry already organises workshops in villages in rural Upper Egypt to "inform and sensitise" people to issues of mental disability.

Other initiatives in the country have shown that integrating the disabled into Egyptian society is both possible and beneficial.

Olfat Salem has been organising cultural and sports activities for the mentally disabled at the Alexandria Sporting Club for 20 years.

"The families used to be ashamed; they would come at the club late at night, sit in a dark corner," she says.

Playing sport transformed the children, she adds.

"Receiving a medal gives them happiness you could not imagine. It gives them self-confidence. And now the families are proud of them as well."

Source: AFP

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today challenge mental disability stigma Arab Today, arab today challenge mental disability stigma

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today challenge mental disability stigma Arab Today, arab today challenge mental disability stigma

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Youssra depended on colored foam

GMT 16:53 2017 Tuesday ,05 September

Youssra depended on colored foam
Arab Today, arab today EasyJet, Lufthansa among seven to bid

GMT 06:49 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

EasyJet, Lufthansa among seven to bid
Arab Today, arab today Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts

GMT 17:52 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts
Arab Today, arab today Israeli court convicts Palestinians of 2016

GMT 04:39 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Israeli court convicts Palestinians of 2016
Arab Today, arab today Iran's Facebook shuts down

GMT 23:50 2017 Monday ,16 October

Iran's Facebook shuts down
Arab Today, arab today Designer produced new set of ornaments

GMT 18:29 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Designer produced new set of ornaments
Arab Today, arab today Airbus CEO says won't cling to job

GMT 06:52 2017 Monday ,16 October

Airbus CEO says won't cling to job
Arab Today, arab today Egyptian artist presents new collection of designs

GMT 11:49 2017 Thursday ,17 August

Egyptian artist presents new collection of designs
Arab Today, arab today 'Final phase' of battle for Raqa

GMT 03:47 2017 Monday ,16 October

'Final phase' of battle for Raqa
Arab Today, arab today Uber puts the brakes on UberPOP

GMT 14:15 2017 Tuesday ,10 October

Uber puts the brakes on UberPOP
Arab Today, arab today Sidem reveals plan to improve education

GMT 15:52 2017 Friday ,06 October

Sidem reveals plan to improve education
Arab Today, arab today British actress becomes fifth woman

GMT 18:15 2017 Monday ,16 October

British actress becomes fifth woman
Arab Today, arab today Three killed, 360,000 without power

GMT 05:11 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Three killed, 360,000 without power
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today Mercedes says recalls 400,000 UK cars

GMT 06:56 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Mercedes says recalls 400,000 UK cars
Arab Today, arab today Britain's Vauxhall to cut 400 jobs

GMT 10:53 2017 Sunday ,15 October

Britain's Vauxhall to cut 400 jobs
Arab Today, arab today Anoshka happy for reactions to her talk show

GMT 12:33 2017 Friday ,13 October

Anoshka happy for reactions to her talk show
Arab Today, arab today India to close colonial-era military farms

GMT 18:49 2017 Monday ,16 October

India to close colonial-era military farms

GMT 10:55 2017 Thursday ,12 October

Safaa Sultan happy for “Love School”

GMT 10:19 2017 Wednesday ,11 October

Bosy reveals behind her participation in festival

GMT 10:37 2017 Thursday ,12 October

Cara Delevingne accuses Weinstein

GMT 08:58 2017 Sunday ,08 October

Saudi Education,Transport Ministries sign accord

GMT 16:53 2017 Saturday ,02 September

Mai importance of gifts during Eid Al-Adha

GMT 19:29 2017 Tuesday ,29 August

Yomna: decoration leaved positive effects

GMT 12:02 2017 Saturday ,14 October

Conservation cutbacks put Brazil's

GMT 10:20 2017 Thursday ,12 October

Chad extends key conservation area

GMT 10:46 2017 Saturday ,05 August

Nanis reveals simple ideas for home renovation

GMT 14:44 2017 Monday ,29 May

Al-Jeddawi presents décor ideas for Ramadan

GMT 12:25 2017 Saturday ,14 October

Squeeze on UK health gives advanced

GMT 08:26 2017 Wednesday ,11 October

Trump Rolls Back Obamacare Provision

GMT 07:02 2017 Sunday ,15 October

German minister sparks uproar

GMT 07:16 2017 Friday ,13 October

Lufthansa to swallow lion's share

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 13:38 2017 Monday ,06 March

Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful

GMT 03:59 2017 Sunday ,15 October

US mobile carriers Sprint, T-Mobile to merge

GMT 11:37 2017 Saturday ,12 August

Fashion designer reveals her new collection
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday