|Persons with disabilities can have difficulties
to find help when they are sick.
The World Health Organisation supports the health needs
This plan wants to make sure persons with disabilities
As part of the process of developing an action plan to ensure better health for persons with disabilities, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has launched an online consultation process which is open until 11 October 2013.
The consultation is open to anyone involved in improving the health of persons with disabilities, such as representatives of disabled peoples’ organizations (DPOs), civil society organizations (CSOs) as well as service providers involved in the delivery of rehabilitation services.
A draft of the plan was shared with key DPOs, CSOs and United Nations agencies during the 6th Conference of States Parties to the CRPD on 17-19 July 2013. Based on the findings of the global and regional consultations, the draft WHO action plan will be revised before being submitted to the WHO Executive Board where it will be discussed at the WHO’s 134th session in January 2014. This discussion on the plan is in preparation for consideration and approval by Member States at the 67th World Health Assembly in May 2014.
The principal goal of the Action Plan 2014-2021 is to contribute to improving the health, well-being and human rights for persons with disabilities. The action plan has three core objectives.
1: To address barriers and improve access to health care services and programmes.
This objective reinforces the right to health as enshrined in international law. Furthermore equal access to health care is a pre-requisite to ensuring an inclusive society in which persons with disabilities can use their rights on an equal basis with others. This objective entails various action such as, developing health and disability policies and plans in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Member states are also called upon to ensure the full participation of persons with disabilities in the implementation of these health policies.
Under Article 25 of the CRPD, “States Parties recognize that persons with disabilities have the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health without discrimination on the basis of disability.”
2: To extend rehabilitation services, including community-based rehabilitation and assistive technology.
This objective pinpoints the need to promote access to a range of community services which support independent living and full inclusion in the community. The provision of assistive technologies in health and rehabilitation was also promoted as a key way of facilitating the effective participation of persons with disabilities.
3: To support the collection of data on disability
This objective centres on the need to reform national data collection systems, including health information systems, to include sex and age-disaggregated disability data. Furthermore member states are called upon to “research on priority disability issues including needs and unmet needs for services, barriers to service delivery, and health and rehabilitation outcomes.”
This Action Plan is guided by CRPD principles such as equal opportunity and full and effective participation of persons with disabilities. Moreover it reaffirms the right to make one’s own choices as well as respecting individual autonomy.
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