Early Identification of Intellectual Disabilities through Clinic Screenings

Identifying disabilities in children under five to improve care

In Zambia, four out of five children with intellectual disabilities die before the age of five, due to substandard or inadequate care. In order to reduce this figure, Special Hope Network is partnering with Amplify to incorporate screening for intellectual disability into the country’s extremely successful under‑5 vaccination program. The organization’s core work involves using a parent-training model to elicit growth across all developmental areas, empowering families to invest in their child’s progress, and providing medicine and nutritional supplements not otherwise affordable to families. By making screening ubiquitous, the organization hopes to increase the number of families who might not otherwise understand their child’s disability begin to receive services as early as possible. SHN also aims to reduce stigma around disabilities so that children might be able to participate more fully in society as they mature.