LEAP-CP Symposium: Early detection and early intervention for children at risk of CP in low-middle income countries

LEAP-CP Symposium: Early detection and early intervention for children at risk of CP in low-middle income countries
Posted on Wed 15 Jan 2020

With support from Cerebral Palsy Alliance and The University of Queensland ‘Global Strategy and Partnerships Seed Funding Scheme’, UQ’s Dr Katherine Benfer and Prof. Roslyn Boyd led an 8-day education program in Kolkata, India, 28 November to 6 December 2019.

As the first conference to implement training on the early detection of CP and early intervention using the LEAP-CP program “Learning through Everyday Activities with Parents” across the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries, the event was held in central Kolkata at the SSKM Hospital.

The event attracted over 70 attendees both in person and via teleconferencing. The symposium united six SAARC nations (India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh) in an evidence-based early detection and early intervention program which implements the first international CPG (Novak 2017)..

The symposium focused on:

  • Early detection using two gold standard CP screening tools (General Movements & Hammersmith Infant Neurological Examination).
  • Early intervention principles and techniques for infants at high risk of CP;
  • LEAP-CP program content and service delivery model, and introduction to the UQX training platform.
  • Practical implementation workshops for early detection and delivering LEAP-CP.
  • Early assessment and early intervention for infants with Cerebral Visual Impairment and CP.

Very early detection of CVI in infants at risk of CP is a much needed area of training with reports of >50% CVI in some local cohorts. The teams from each country worked together on developing an early detection strategy to reduce the age of identification of infants at risk of CP, and preparation for implementation of the LEAP-CP program in their own countries. 

The symposium aimed to enhance the visibility, research collaborations and organisational partnerships of The University of Queensland in the Indian Sub-Continent, particularly in the health sector. India accounts for a large number of university enrolments (second largest after China at UQ), and the health field is experiencing significant growth.

Sponsored by both Cerebral Palsy Alliance and The University of Queensland, the symposium offered 26 travel scholarships to encourage attendance of strategic leaders and health professionals from the SAARC countries to attend, enhancing global connections and preparing for implementation of LEAP-CP Early Detection and Intervention Programs across six countries under the banner of UQ and Cerebral Palsy Alliance.

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