New centre to help children’s development


01-July-2009

The opening ceremony last week at its premises in the English River health centre was carried out by Minister for Health and Social Development Marie-Pierre Lloyd.

Also attending the launch were Minister for Employment and Human Resources Development Macsuzy Mondon, principal secretary for social development Anne Lafortune, chief executive of the Health Services Agency Marise Berlouis, liaison officer for the World Health Organisation Cornelia Atsyor and officials from the Ministry of Health and Social Development.

Guests touring the centre after its opening

Other guests included consultant paediatrician Erna Athanasius, nurses, staff of the centre and parents.

Delays in development include speech and language problems that occur during the first three years of a child’s life.
 
The ECIC will aim to increase public and health professionals’ awareness of early childhood development issues and the need for early detection and intervention.

Dr Athanasius gave a PowerPoint presentation to brief the audience on delayed development in children, services offered, recorded cases in Seychelles, and the centre’s mission and goals.

This was followed by the introduction of members of the team who work with the children concerned.

The ceremony also included testimonials from several parents whose children are benefiting from therapies after being diagnosed with delayed development problems.

Mrs Berlouis presented brochures to the Ministry of Education’s quality assurance director Shirley Choppy and to school health programme manager Anne-Marie Bibi.

The brochures contain information about the centre and everything parents need to know about the services being offered.

In her launch speech, Mrs Lloyd said government’s policy is to ensure that all Seychellois continue to receive appropriate healthcare.

An important aspect of this is to provide high-quality care at community level so that all citizens, especially children with special healthcare needs, benefit.

She said the new early childhood intervention centre is a tangible outcome of this policy, and its inspiration came from the 2005 national theme Our Children, Our Treasure, Our Future launched by President James Michel.

Mrs Lloyd also talked about the objectives of the centre, which will include providing intervention services to the children identified and promoting research, in collaboration with other sectors, into different aspects of child health.

“The founding of this national centre also demonstrates the ministry’s commitment to pursue the development of more effective local, specialised medical services through the expansion of advanced care,” she said.

The minister thanked Dr Athanasius for leading the foundation of the centre and the staff for their work.

An exhibition was set up to show the work done with children who are following therapies and to give information on the services.

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