Project Title

Serving Children with Disabilities

Date Awarded



Public Health

Project Description

Mary Hearst, PhD, Associate Professor, received a $43,165 grant from the GHR Foundation. The vision is to create systemic change from community to national policy in the care and consideration of children with disabilities (CWD) in Zambia. There are three fundamental questions. First, can the quality of life of CWD living in institutions be improved? Second, what are the conditions of CWD living in community? Third, are there effective strategies that can be implemented and disseminated nationally to assure good quality of life for CWD? A team has been assembled from St. Catherine University, SPOON Foundation, and Forum for African Women Educationalists representing a range of expertise including prevention, growth, feeding, nutrition, medical care, rehabilitation, policy, education, system reform, child welfare and more. This unique team is well equipped to tackle this pressing yet indeterminable situation for CWD. From public health to clinical medicine, the scientific process begins with understanding the issue followed by identifying evidence based practice and testing those practices with or without modification in new populations. While interventions and outcomes at the level of the individual are often a driving force for practitioners, it is change at the population level that has the greatest potential for impact and sustainability. It is important in this case to understand the conditions of CWD; explore evidence based practice, test interventions and then implement policy level changes that will expand the impact nationally as well as support sustainability of the improved care practices.

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