BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Renovations are under way at the deserted Child Development Centre in Kg Kiarong to accommodate the growing number of referrals on children with special needs.

The $1.2 million renovation project will see the refurbishment of five bungalow units at the centre’s previous site, more than three years after it moved its operations to Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha Hospital.

Data from CDC showed that the number of referrals to the centre has increased by 50 percent over the last eight years, from about 400 in 2010 to an average of 600 in 2018.

Children are referred to the centre when parents or professionals have concerns about their development, learning or behaviour.

Health Minister YB Dato Paduka Dr Hj Md Isham Jaafar on Saturday launched the renovation project, which is slated for completion in May 2020.

As part of the 11th National Development Plan, the centre will be restored to accommodate various services including paediatrics, dental, communication, audiology, occupational therapy and early development programme and physiotherapy.

CDC had moved to its current location at RIPAS Hospital to allow better access to services and specialties for patients.

The centre currently has a 24-member multidisciplinary team including doctors, nurses, speech language therapist, psychologists, audiologist, occupational therapist and physiotherapist.

CDC provides services for children with learning difficulties; neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy; speech, language and communication disorders as well as inherited conditions; motor and metabolic disorders.

Other services include helping children with associated problems such as behavioural issues; feeding/nutritional problems; sleep disorders as well as social and family problems.