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By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, April 12: The first One-Stop Early Intervention Centre (OSEIC) Sarawak located at Metrocity Matang will undergo renovation to accommodate the increasing number of children and staff.
Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Minister Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah said there were only 41 registered children when the centre was first established on Oct 30, 2020, but the number has increased to 257 as of March 31, 2022.
“Following this, the OSEIC Sarawak Advisory Committee Meeting has approved a proposed renovation to cater for the increasing need and demand for intervention and rehabilitation services.
“The renovation of the first floor was approved with a total allocation of RM1.2 million including furniture and fittings,” she said at a press conference after chairing the OSEIC Sarawak Advisory Committee Meeting No 1/2022 held at Bangunan Baitulmakmur 2 today.
OSEIC was jointly developed by the Sarawak government and Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) under the latter’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme, to offer appropriate diagnosis, early intervention and rehabilitation services under one roof to autistic, Down Syndrome and learning-disabled children aged seven and below.
It is managed by the Society for Parents of Children with Special Needs (Pibakat) and monitored by an OSEIC advisory committee led by the ministry.
As of March 31, 257 children have enrolled at OSEIC Sarawak with a majority of 90 diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), followed by speech delay (84), Down Syndrome (13), Global Developmental Delay (GDD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (10) and one child with multiple disabilities.
Fatimah further disclosed that moving forward, the ministry aims to bring similar services to rural areas too, so that special needs children in such places can have access to appropriate diagnosis, early intervention and rehabilitation programmes.
She also called upon school leavers to take up speech and occupational therapy and physiotherapy to meet the demand for more speech therapists and physiotherapists today.
She highlighted that for every person with special needs registered with the Health Ministry, there might be three or seven more persons who are unregistered. – DayakDaily