On Thursday evening the six o’clock BBC news aired a very distressing and poignant report about children with learning disabilities in Ukraine. It made for difficult viewing.
These children are non verbal, have severe learning disabilities and other additional medical needs including being blind and suffering from epilepsy. The majority are incontinent and wear nappies. Living in such squalid conditions they are prone to scabies and lice because they aren’t kept clean.
The staff at the centre were overwhelmed, they were resorting to tying children to their beds to keep them safe. It was heart breaking to watch. The parents and carers of these disabled children simply couldn’t manage their needs during the war and so they have left them behind. Can you imagine having to make that decision?
Moving forward what can we do to help? The staff are all these children have and they are overworked and underpaid. We need an organised package of support in place. Basic hygiene, medication, food and outdoor facilities are what these children need for a quality of life. They also need care and affection which we can only hope they receive in the not too distant future.