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Disability care centre shut down for negligence

By Laila Azzeh - Jan 06,2013 - Last updated at Jan 06,2013

AMMAN — The Ministry of Social Development on Sunday announced the closure of a private disability care centre in Amman, citing its failure to meet the ministry's standards.

The centre, which the ministry refused to name for legal reasons, used to accommodate 18 people with mental disabilities, according to Fawaz Ratrout, the ministry's spokesperson.

"The ministry's inspectors were randomly checking care centres when they noticed that the facility in question did not ensure the safety of its beneficiaries in terms of food, medications, hygiene and heating. It was also understaffed and we could not find any files showing that the employees were free of diseases," he told The Jordan Times.

Families of the centre's residents were notified of the ministry's decision a month prior to the closure, Ratrout said, noting that some parents took their children home while others moved them to another care facility.

The ministry has also issued warnings to four private disability centres in the capital for violations committed by their administrations.

The spokesperson said the ministry would soon release the exact number of centres that were closed or warned last year.

The ministry has boosted its efforts to inspect care centres after a documentary aired by the BBC last year featured children being abused in some special education centres, turning the matter into an issue of public concern.

Following the documentary, His Majesty King Abdullah paid unannounced visits to several special education centres and issued directives to the government to investigate all facilities providing services to people with disabilities and hold accountable every person involved in violations.

To this end, the social development ministry formed a committee to investigate the alleged violations, which is continuing to examine the situation of orphans and disability care centres across Jordan.

Several centres have been closed down or received warnings since then, while legal action has been taken against staff members found responsible for the violations. 

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