Many people with disabilities face premature death due to health inequalities

“Many people with disabilities die earlier, some 20 years earlier, and many others are at risk – double risk – development of a number of diseases compared to the general population,” said Darryl Barrett, WHOTechnical Lead for Sensory Functions, Disability and Rehabilitation, press briefing in Geneva.

Global Health Equity Reportpublished just before International Day of Persons with Disabilitiesshows that while some progress has been made in recent years, systemic and persistent health inequities persist and many people with disabilities face an increased risk of developing chronic conditions and higher risks.

This is an important reason for these early deaths. because of the poor quality of medical services,” said Mr. Barrett. “There is also a higher incidence of diseases such as tuberculosis, diabetes, stroke, sexually transmitted infections and cardiovascular disease among people with disabilities.”

Poor medical care

“Health Systems should alleviate the problems faced by people with disabilities, not exacerbate them.“WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “This report sheds light on the inequalities that 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 ensure that all people with disabilities have access to quality health care.”

According to the WHO, many disparities in health outcomes cannot be explained by underlying health conditions or ill health, but can also be avoided by unfair factors such as unaffordable public health measures or too little consideration given to persons with disabilities in health emergency planning.

1.3 billion people with ‘significant disabilities’

“This report also has new global estimates for the prevalence of significant disability.accounts for about 16 percent of the population, or, by today’s standards, 1.3 billion people with a significant degree of disability.,” said Mr. Barrett. “So it’s about one in six of us.”

An estimated 80 per cent of persons with disabilities live in low- and middle-income countries where health services are limited and redressing health inequities can be difficult. However, even with limited resources, much can be achieved, notes the WHO.

take action

The report recommends 40 actions to governments, ranging from addressing physical infrastructure problems to training health workers.

“For example, the attitudes and competencies of healthcare professionals can be very negative and impact the health of people with disabilities,” Mr. Barrett said.

WHO highlights the need for urgent action to address disparities: “When governments consider training their health workforce, it is important that they include disability in that training and education so that staff are confident and competent to be able to deal with what they need to be able to do.” case,” said Mr. Barrett.

The report shows that investing in the disability-friendly health sector is cost-effective. According to WHO estimates, governments can expect a return of around $10 for every dollar invested in disability-inclusive prevention and treatment of noncommunicable diseases.

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