Lessons in the Design and Initial Implementation of the System on Prevention, Early Identification, Referral, and Intervention for Delays, Disorders, and Disabilities in Early Childhood in the Philippines
Approximately 1 in every 10 children has a disability and in developing countries, fewer than one out of 10 of them go to school (1) (2). Persons with disabilities experience overlapping deprivations that contribute to marginalization, significant discrimination, and ultimately, exclusion in societal participation, perpetrating the vicious cycle of disability and poverty (3) (4).
Early childhood is the time when the impact of disability into adulthood can be maximally mitigated. It is, therefore, crucial for identification to be carried out at the earliest possible instance and appropriate intervention is provided.
In the Philippines, efforts are underway to implement a system on prevention, early identification, referral, and intervention for delays, disorders, and disabilities in early childhood in select subnational areas. This is a project that is being implemented through the national Early Childhood Care and Development Council and the Department of Health with support from UNICEF and Humanity and Inclusion.