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January 28, 2014 | Asia Pacific: Thailand

Reaching More Athletes In Rural Locations Through Healthy Communities

By Lynn Erickson

Ladda Sribarom (right) volunteers at a Healthy Communities event in Thailand.

Ladda Sribarom found the perfect way to combine her skill set and her passion for working with people with intellectual disabilities through Special Olympics Healthy Communities in Thailand. A Village Health Volunteer in her community for 12 years, Ladda received her first training on providing health care for people with intellectual disabilities through Healthy Communities in 2013.

“As the mother of a son with an intellectual disability and as a health volunteer, Ladda found the Healthy Communities program to be tremendously valuable to her own family and to her community,” shared Avi Tania, Special Olympics Asia Pacific’s regional health manager.

“She would like Healthy Communities to be conducted in more rural communities. In her village as most probably in others, there are a number of people with intellectual disabilities outside the special education school system, like Ladda’s son, who would benefit from the health screening service that is specially designed for people with intellectual disabilities."

As a Village Health Volunteer, Ladda’s responsibilities include visiting people with disabilities and people who are ill in her community, assisting rural doctors on a weekly basis, and educating the community about prevention of chronic diseases and common infections.

Ladda is one of the more than 3,300 global volunteers who received training on providing care to people with intellectual disabilities in the first year of the Healthy Communities initiative.

About Lynn Erickson: Manager, Health Communications
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