The Observatory

A giant step towards better health for people with disabilities

Photo of the World Health Assembly in Geneva courtesy of WHO and Peter Williams

On Friday in Geneva the World Health Assembly adopted the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Disability Action Plan 2014 – 2021. CBM worked closely with WHO and other partners to help develop this plan.

This Action Plan provides a clear direction on how to improve access to healthcare for people with disabilities globally, including those living in the poorest communities.<

Currently people with disabilities are three times more likely to be denied healthcare services than those without disability and only half of people with disabilities can afford health care.

The Action Plan provides a framework to improve access to healthcare services for people with disability all over the world. When people with disabilities have access to the healthcare services they need, it can enable a person with disabilities to achieve other aspirations in their lives. For example, if a child with disabilities has access to the healthcare they need, this would enable them to go to school and hopefully go on to gain employment and fully participate in their communities. Not only does this improve the individual’s quality of life and economic security, it also helps the community they live in to overcome poverty.

The Action Plan supports the aims of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in ensuring that all people with disabilities have the right to the highest standard of healthcare with discrimination. The Action Plan outlines ways that countries can deliver healthcare services to align with their obligations with the CRPD.

The Disability Action Plan aims to achieve optimal health, functioning well-being and human rights for persons with disabilities. It’s about making sure that people with disabilities can access health services for their specific needs as well as accessing the same basic health services available to others.  The Disability Action Plan’s key objectives include: removal of barriers of access to health for people with disability; strengthened rehabilitation and habilitation services; and improved collection of data on disability.

CBM works in developing countries to promote access to health and rehabilitation services for people with disabilities. This plan will help coordinate and monitor our work in line with others including, for example, governments and organisations of people with disabilities.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be showcasing the work CBM and our partners do to improve the health of people with disability around the world.

If you would like to know more about the Disability Action Plan see the WHO or CBM websites.

*This blog post was originally published on the CBM Australia blog and was republished here with full permission.