Toll Free for Admission 1800-3010-5700

Prevalence of Neurodevelopment disabilities among children in rural Gadchiroli


  • Aditi Tembe
  • Agency : Neonatal Care Neurodevelopment, Child Health, Low Birth Weight
  • Objective : To find the prevalence of Neurodevelopment disabilities (Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation, Epilepsy, Deafness, Blindness and Kernicterus) among children between 2 years to 14 years of age in 6 villages of the rural area of Gadchiroli. To study the age, sex and disability- wise distribution of Neurodevelopment disabilities among children in the study population.
  • Background : The Home Based Neonatal Care program has successfully reduced infant mortality from 76 per thousand live births in 1993-95 to 30 per thousand live births in 2001-03 rural Gadchiroli by managing complications such as: Birth Asphyxia, Neo-Natal Sepsis, Hypothermia and Low birth weight which has resulted in increased survival of children. The incidence of neurodevelopmental disabilities is likely to increase in children  who  were  asphyxiated  at  birth,  were  preterm, were low birth weight babies or acquired infection in the neonatal period. It is therefore hypothesized that there may be a sizeable proportion of children with Neurodevelopmental disabilities in this area. The present study aims at measuring the prevalence Neurodevelopmental disabilities (Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation, Epilepsy, Deafness, Blindness and Kernicterus) in the area.
  • Methodology : The study is a cross-sectional explorative study. The testing was conducted in two stages. In the first stage, a house-to-house survey was conducted to screen all children   who   fall   in   the   target   age   group   and   a standardized screening tool called “Ten Questions Screen” was used. After the screening test was completed, in the second stage, all children who tested positive on the screening test were put through an assessment using detailed diagnostic tests.
  • Findings : The  prevalence  of  neurodevelopment disabilities   was   found   to   be   2.60%   (n=1271).   All disabilities  except  mental  retardation  were  found  to  be more or less evenly distributed across the age groups. In mental retardation however, there was a sharp rise in the number of children who are mentally retarded in the 11 to 13.9 years age group. The male to female ratio in Mental Retardation, suspected cerebral palsy/ kernicterus and epilepsy  were  at  least  1.5.  For  deafness  and  blindness however,  this  ratio  was  less  than  1  or  equal  to  1. Individually, mental retardation was found to be the most prevalent neurodevelopment disability with a prevalence of 1.73%. Blindness, Epilepsy, Deafness and suspected cerebral  palsy/  kernicterus  were  found  to  have  a prevalence of 0.16%, 0.24%, 0.24% and 0.55% respectively.
  • Recommendations : Cerebral Palsy/kernicterus assessment test is required. Modification in response sheet is required. Conducting  small  case-control  to  identify  the  causes behind the neurodevelopment disabilities is required.
To find the prevalence of Neurodevelopment disabilities (Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation, Epilepsy, Deafness, Blindness and Kernicterus) among children between 2 years to 14 years of age in 6 villages of the rural area