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VJVirtual | Issues noted in the care of people with IDD in Ukraine

Seth Keller, MD, American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD), shares insights from his mission in Ukraine with Disability Rights International (DRI). During the mission, Dr Keller visited three institutions for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) around the region of Chernivtsi, a city in western Ukraine. The institutions housed people of various ages with different levels of disability. While some individuals were put in those institutions by their parents, some were displaced from institutions in the east of the country due to the conflict with Russia. From a medical care perspective, the lack of early interventions to help with the needs of individuals with IDD was apparent. DRI documented the social, medical, and personal neglect witnessed at those institutions on video and pictures. Untreated spasticity, malnourishment, and thin limbs are some of the few conditions that were reported. Epilepsy is a very prevalent neurological complication in the developmental population, but it was noted that the institutions were not able to provide the epilepsy care needed. The access to pharmacological treatments routinely prescribed in the US was very limited, including access to seizure rescue medications, and blood tests and imaging were not widely available. This interview was recorded during an online conference call with The Video Journal of Neurology (VJNeurology).