‘Disability significant in 10-14 age group’An analysis of the 2011 census released on Friday has revealed that children aged 10-14 are most vulnerable to disability.
An analysis of the 2011 census released on Friday has revealed that children aged 10-14 are most vulnerable to disability.
The Disability Atlas Nepal prepared by Disability Research Centre (DRC) under the Kathmandu University School of Arts, which visualises the data of the National Population and Housing Census, shows that physical disability, blindness and low vision, deafness and hard of hearing are more common in the age group 10-14 years.
Among the 513,321 persons living with disability across the country, the age group constitutes 8.6 percent of the total inflicted population. This age group was reported also to have multiple disabilities. Among the total 38,616 persons with multiple disabilities, 3,652 were from this category.
Intellectual disability also remained significantly higher in this age group at 16.11 percent, followed by people of 40-44 years and 75 and above.
This particular finding has intrigued researchers. Dr Niraj Poudyal, senior database expert at the DRC, believes that this study has opened up a new area for policy intervention. “People of this age are more active and enthusiastic. As they explore more and more, it might to lead to accidents causing physical impairment. Physical changes that the children undergo during this age also require special attention to help them cope with intellectual issues,” said Dr Poudyal, cautioning, however, that further research is necessary before conclusions are drawn.
This finding is also in line with one of Dr Poudyal’s researches titled “What predicts visual disability”, which argues that children who go to school might have higher chances of early detection of the vision problem, in course of using books and teacher’s board, preventing their visual impairment.
Dr Mahesh Banskota, the dean of the KU School of Arts, who heads the DRC, said early childhood screening helps to prevent disability as it identifies potential causes and their treatment.
“The finding has helped in bringing disability to public discourse and is a vital resource for evidence-based policy formulation and analysis,” said Dr Banskota.
The study was supported by Unicef.