A new report from the World Health Organization shows evidence of an increased risk of premature death and disease among many people with disabilities compared to others in society.
the Global report on health equity for people with disabilities published today shows that, due to systemic and persistent health inequities, many people with disabilities face the risk of dying much sooner, even up to 20 years sooner, than people without disabilities.
They are at increased risk of developing chronic diseases, with up to twice the risk of asthma, depression, diabetes, obesity, oral disease, and stroke. Many of the differences in health outcomes cannot be explained by the underlying health condition or impairment, but rather by unfair, unfair, and avoidable factors.
Released ahead of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the report shows that the number of people with significant disabilities worldwide has risen to 1.3 billion (or 1 in 6 people). This number reinforces the importance of achieving the full and effective participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of society and incorporating the principles of inclusion, accessibility and non-discrimination in the health sector.
Unfair factors: a key cause of health disparities
The report highlights the need for urgent action to address the gross health inequalities caused by unfair and unfair factors within health systems. These factors, which explain many of the differences in health outcomes between people with and without disabilities, could take the form of:
- negative attitudes of health care providers,
- health information in formats that cannot be understood, or
- Difficulties in accessing a health center due to the physical environment, lack of transportation, or financial barriers.
“Health systems should alleviate the challenges faced by people with disabilities, not add to them,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “This report sheds light on the inequalities people with disabilities face when trying to access the care they need. WHO is committed to supporting countries with the guidance and tools they need to ensure that all people with disabilities have access to quality health services.”
Given that approximately 80% of people with disabilities live in low- and middle-income countries where health services are limited, addressing health inequities could be challenging. However, even with limited resources, much can be accomplished.
Opportunities for a disability inclusive health sector
Recognizing that everyone has an equal right to the highest attainable standard of health, the report provides important economic analysis of taking an inclusive approach to disability. It shows that investing in a health sector that includes people with disabilities pays off.
The WHO estimates that governments could expect a return of about US$10 for every US$1 invested in the prevention and care of noncommunicable diseases that include disability. Furthermore, family planning and vaccination are cost-effective when implemented with disability in mind.
Specific and comprehensive actions throughout the health sector
The report outlines 40 actions across the health sector for governments to take, based on the latest evidence from academic studies, as well as consultations with countries and civil society, including organizations representing people with disabilities. These actions vary according to the level of resources and range from addressing the physical infrastructure to the training of health and care workers.
Ensuring health equity for people with disabilities will also have broader benefits and can advance global health priorities in 3 ways:
- health equity for all is essential to achieve universal health coverage;
- inclusive public health interventions that are delivered equitably across different sectors can contribute to the health of populations; Y
- promoting health equity for people with disabilities is a central component in all efforts to protect everyone in health emergencies.
“Addressing inequalities in the health of people with disabilities benefits everyone,” said Dr. Bente Mikkelsen, Director of Noncommunicable Diseases at WHO. “Older people, people with noncommunicable diseases, migrants and refugees, or other often unreached populations may benefit from approaches that address persistent challenges to disability inclusion in the health sector.”
It added: “We urge governments, health partners and civil society to ensure that all actions in the health sector are inclusive of people with disabilities so that they can enjoy their right to the highest standard of health.”
Note to editors
To view the launch event at Friday, December 2 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. CET/Geneva timeplease sign in https://who.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_S8sIa08GQS-mbkuwQuGGMA.
Under international human rights law and the domestic laws of many countries, governments have an obligation to address health inequities so that people with disabilities have an equal right to attain the highest attainable standard of health.
the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilitieswhich has 185 parties, commits countries to provide people with disabilities with the same range, quality and level of affordable health care that is provided to other people on an equal basis with others.
WHO is working with Member States, global partners, health and disability stakeholders, including representative organizations of persons with disabilities, to translate the recommendations in this report into action in countries. This includes the development of a Guide for Action on Disability Inclusion in the Health Sector, which is a national strategic planning tool to help countries make the changes needed to achieve health equity for people. with disabilities.