Monday, April 1, 2019

Refugee claimant hits roadblocks getting disabled child's care

By Louise Kinross

I'm delighted to introduce the latest in our A Family Like Mine video series.

Meet Ola Atanda and her three kids: Bolu, 15, Abby, 7, and Rahmat Beverly, 19 months, who has cerebral palsy. The family, originally from Nigeria, has been living in a Toronto shelter for almost two years as Ola seeks refugee status. Ola is attending high school with hopes of going on to university to become a social worker.

Ola says her greatest challenge is getting Rahmat’s health needs met. “I’m having great issues with my Ontario Works case worker,” she says. She never wants to approve any of her medical needs.” For example, she wouldn’t approve Rahmat’s feeding machine. “She’s a sick baby, a disabled child diagnosed with about six things…what do you want to see that could make her…eligible?”

Ola says her two boys get good medical care with their interim health card, which covers refugees without status. “I think the reason why I’m having this problem is because she’s a child with special needs.”

Check out all of our A Family Like Mine videos.