WHO report to mark 2022 International day of people with disabilities

The World Health Organization released a global report on health equity for persons with disabilities in time for the international day of awareness, which is held annually on 3rd December.

The 2022 theme was innovation to foster inclusivity of disabled persons through sport, employment and reducing inequality. The World Health Organization has stated that health inequities across society lead to early death for those with disabilities. 

The day was established in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly resolution, as a day for promoting the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities at every level of society and development, and to raise awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of political, social, economic, and cultural life.  

According to The World Health Organization an estimated 1.3 billion people – or 1 in 6 of the global population worldwide – experience a significant disability today. The report analyses health outcomes for people with disabilities by examining health equity, access to health systems and over all condition and inclusivity of disabled people across the globe. 

Disabled people and people living with disabilities are often stigmatized in society and lack access to social support and health care.

With an estimated 80% of persons with disabilities living in low- and middle-income countries where health services are limited, addressing health inequities could be challenging. 

Particularly in lower economic developed countries disabled people are often ostracized from communities- living in ill-equipped institutes or are cared for by untrained family members – placing strain on relationships and creating financial hardship. 

The report also offers 40 targeted and comprehensive actions that countries can take to strengthen their health systems and reduce health inequities for persons with disabilities. Along with targeted resources examining finance, accessibility to care, representation in society, Engagement of communities and other stakeholders, which all ultimate impact health outcomes.

Reference: 

World Health Organization. (2022) Global report on health equity for persons with disabilities. ISBN: 9789240063600. 312 pp.  https://apps.who.int/iris/rest/bitstreams/1481486/retrieve