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The impacts of COVID-19 on people with disabilities: a rapid review. Disability Inclusion Helpdesk Query No: 35

MEANIE-DAVIS, Jessie
LEE, Harri
CORBY, Nick
April 2020

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There is currently very limited data and evidence on the impacts of COVID-19 on people with disabilities and pre-existing health conditions, with no disability-disaggregated data on mortality rates available in the public sphere. However, reports from the media, disability advocates and disabled peoples’ organisations (DPOs) point to several emerging impacts, including primary and secondary impacts including on health, education, food security and livelihoods.  Most of the available data is from high income countries (HICs) though reports from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are likely to emerge. Evidence was gathered by a rapid desk based review. Gaps are identified. 

 

The section concerned with lessons drawn from similar epidemics draws heavily on lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014-2016, and touches on lessons from the Zika outbreak in 2015-2016 and the SARS pandemic in the early 2000s.10 It also touches briefly on SARS, MERS and H1N1 (swine flu). 

 

Primary and secondary impacts of COVID-19 on people with disabilities are reviewed.


People with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 not only because it can exacerbate underlying medical conditions, but because of attitudinal, environmental and institutional barriers to their participation in and benefit from the pandemic response. For example, inaccessible public health messaging and healthcare facilities, and stigma and discrimination.

Integrating geospatial data and measures of disability and wealth to assess inequalities in an eye health survey: An example from the Indian Sunderbans

MOHANTY, Soumya
et al
December 2019

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The Sunderbans are a group of delta islands that straddle the border between India and Bangladesh. For people living on the Indian side, health services are scarce and the terrain makes access to what is available difficult. In 2018, the international non-governmental organisation Sightsavers and their partners conducted a population-based survey of visual impairment and coverage of cataract and spectacle services, supplemented with tools to measure equity in eye health by wealth, disability, and geographical location. Two-stage cluster sampling was undertaken to randomly select 3868 individuals aged 40+ years, of whom 3410 were examined

 

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Dec; 16(23): 4869

doi: 10.3390/ijerph16234869

The missing billion - Access to health services for 1 billion people with disabilities

KUPER, Hannah
HEYDT, Phyllis
July 2019

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One billion people around the world live with disabilities. This report makes the case that they are being “left behind” in the global community’s work on health. This lack of access not only violates the rights of people with disabilities under international law, but UHC (Universal Health Care) and SDG 3 cannot be attained without better health services for the one billion people with disabilities. 

Health and healthcare are critical issues for people with disabilities. People with disabilities often need specialized medical care related to the underlying health condition or impairment (e.g., physiotherapy, hearing aids). They also need general healthcare services like anyone else (e.g., vaccinations, antenatal care). On average, those with disabilities are more vulnerable to poor health, because of their higher levels of poverty and exclusion, and through secondary conditions and co-morbidities. People with disabilities therefore may require higher levels of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment services. However, health services are often lower quality, not affordable, and inaccessible for people with disabilities. In many situations these barriers are even more significant for women with disabilities, compared to men with disabilities.

Rehabilitation in health systems: guide for action

WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION (WHO)
May 2019

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There is great variation across countries regarding the rehabilitation needs of the population, characteristics of the health system and the challenges that face rehabilitation. For this reason, it is important for each country to identify their own priorities and develop a rehabilitation strategic plan. A rehabilitation strategic plan should seek to increase the accessibility, quality and outcomes of rehabilitation.

To assist countries to develop a comprehensive, coherent and beneficial strategic plan, WHO has developed Rehabilitation in health systems: guide for action. This resource leads governments through a four-phase process of (1) situation assessment; (2) strategic planning; (3) development of monitoring, evaluation and review processes; and (4) implementation of the strategic plan. This process utilizes health system strengthening practices with a focus on rehabilitation.

The Rehabilitation in health systems: guide for action provides practical help that directs governments through the four phases and twelve steps. The process can take place at national or subnational level. Typically phases 1 to 3 occur over a 12-month period, while phase 4 occurs over the period of the strategic plan, around 5 years. The four phases and accompanying guidance are outlined below

Disability in Gaza: policy, barriers to inclusion and a mapping of interventions (Disability Inclusion Helpdesk Report No.12)

LEE, Harri
ABU ALGHAIB, Ola
LAURICIANO, Rabeca
May 2019

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This report presents key findings from a practical ‘know-how’ query, which included a rapid review of key literature as well as a small set of key informant interviews (KIIs) to help fill gaps and supplement online evidence. This query is based on a rapid review of the available literature to provide a brief overview of the barriers people with disabilities face in Gaza in terms of access to basic services, jobs and social inclusion/participation (Section 2), and the policy framework in Gaza in relation to the rights of people with disabilities(Section 3). The main body of this query comprises a mapping of existing interventions for people with disabilities in Gaza and an analysis of the trends and gaps in programming (Section 4)

Sightsavers' approach to making health services inclusive for everyone

Sightsavers
April 2019

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Sightsavers has produced a new film that sets out our work to make health care services accessible and inclusive for everyone. It focuses on our programmes in Bhopal, India and Nampula, Mozambique. This highlights how we work and share learnings globally, but also shows how programmes can be made locally relevant by working with partners with direct experience.

The film showcases some of the people who work hard to make our inclusive health programmes a success, from Sightsavers experts and government health workers to leaders of disabled people’s organisations.

To find out more our inclusive health work and how we are developing best practice in terms of inclusive health programmes, visit our website: https://www.sightsavers.org/disability/health/

Coordination between health and rehabilitation services in Bangladesh: Findings from 3 related studies

PRYOR, Wesley, HASAN Rajib
MARELLA, Manjula
NGUYEN, Liem
SMITH, Fleur
JALAL, Faruk Ahmed
CHAKRABORTY, Ripon
HAQUE, Mazedul
MOSTOFA, Golam
HASAN, Rajib
April 2019

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The unmet need for rehabilitation is profound and is likely to worsen as population health shifts towards longer lives lived with more ill-health and disability. The WHO Global Action Plan on Disability and the Rehabilitation 2030 framework [1] call for quality evidence to inform targeted responses.
The intent of this work is to examine six IDSCs (Integrated Disability Service Centres) in detail but to use the results to inform new activities through the network of more than 100 Integrated Disability Service Centres, with potential to influence practice in other services. As such, results of this work have the potential to directly inform policy decisions concerning future investments in rehabilitation services in Bangladesh and bring awareness to key stakeholders on current challenges and potential solutions.

Research was conducted during March-October 2018 in Kurigram, Tangail, Manikgonj, Dhaka and Narsingdi districts of Bangladesh to map out the current trends and determinants of good coordination
between health and rehabilitation, emphasising quantitative measures of: timeliness, continuity, acceptability, availability and integration

Women and girls with disabilities. Needs of survivors of gender based violence and services offered to them

BURGHAL, Waseem
March 2019

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This study on GBV among women and girls with disabilities was conducted by UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) with the support of Denmark in the context of the GBV Sub-Cluster Strategy 2018-2020. It was based on a needs analysis and mapping of services offered to women and girls with disabilities aged 15 and older who are survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, particularly in view of the poor protection, care and social services available to women survivors of violence. Its objective was to map the available services; analyze major gaps and challenges related to service delivery; identify roles and responsibilities of stakeholders and service providers, including stakeholder coordination, legislation and policies, capacity, prevention and response services, the referral process and accountability; as well as to make recommendations and propose interventions to address the weaknesses in the protection system for women and girls with disabilities in Palestine.

Seeing the invisible: Sexuality-related knowledge, attitudes and behavior of children and youth with disabilities in China

SHANGHAI INSITITUTE OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD RESEARCH (SIPPR)
UNESCO
HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
2019

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Young people with disabilities have the same right to Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) as their peers without disabilities, but their needs and rights are often overlooked. This study examines the SRH status of young people with disabilities in China. In particular, the study explored the sexuality-related knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of young people with disabilities as well as their access to sexuality-related information, education and services. The findings of the study are intended to provide evidence to support decision-making by government agencies, educators, development workers and other relevant stakeholders regarding developing and implementing disability-inclusive SRH and sexuality education policies and programmes for young people in China.

The study, using quantitative and qualitative methods, was conducted in 2015 among unmarried young persons aged 12 to 24 living with visual, hearing, physical and intellectual disabilities, in both urban and rural areas. The analysis was based on data collected through 707 completed valid questionnaires, 20 group interviews and 35 individual interviews with young people with disabilities, and individual interviews with 60 parents and teachers, along with one case study.

Older people’s perceptions of health and wellbeing in rapidly ageing low- and middle-income countries

ALBONE, Rachel
2019

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This report presents the findings of an analysis of data collected by HelpAge International and its network members using HelpAge’s Health Outcomes Tool. The tool is designed to collect data to better understand health and care in older age, and to measure the impact of HelpAge’s health and care programmes. It was developed in response to the challenges posed by the lack of data on older people’s health and care, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, and the resulting lack of understanding about how best to provide age, gender and disability sensitive services for older women and men. The tool was used between 2014 and 2017 in nine low- and middle-income countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America,1 and gathered data from over 3,000 older people. The findings are presented here in the context of the current debate and evidence on older people’s right to health.

This report explores three different areas in relation to ageing and health: older people’s access to health services; availability of care and support; and the impact both health, and care and support services have on older people’s health status, functional ability and wellbeing.

 

 

 

Minimum standards for protection, gender and inclusion in emergencies

INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT SOCIETIES (IFRC)
November 2018

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The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Minimum standards for protection, gender and inclusion in emergencies (2018) is in its second edition. The first pilot version of the IFRC Minimum standard commitments to gender and diversity in emergency programming was published in 2015. The pilot version has been tested globally by Red Cross and Red Crescent staff, volunteers and management in low-, medium- and high-scale disasters and humanitarian crises. This edition is the result of three years of testing, revision and feedback from protection, gender and inclusion (PGI) and sectoral specialists. New chapters, such as cash-based interventions, have been added as well as a stronger focus on sexual and gender-based violence and disability inclusion to align with the commitments of the IFRC and its member National Societies. This edition is accompanied by the IFRC Protection, gender and inclusion in emergencies toolkit (2018–2019).

This guidance presents Red Cross and Red Crescent staff, members and volunteers with a set of minimum standards for protection, gender and inclusion (PGI) in emergencies. It aims to ensure that the emergency programming of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and National Societies provides dignity, access, participation and safety for all people affected by disasters and crises.

It provides practical guidance on how to mainstream these four principles in all sectors, based on a consideration of gender, age, disability and other diversity factors. This includes limiting people’s exposure to the risks of violence and abuse and ensuring that emergency programmes “do no harm”.

The standards address protection, gender and inclusion concerns by providing practical ways to engage with all members of the community, respond to their differing needs and draw on their capacities in the most non-discriminatory and effective way. This helps to ensure that local perspectives guide assistance delivery. The standards also support incorporation of the seven Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

3rd World Disability & Rehabilitation Conference (WDRC 2018) - Book of abstracts

O'CONNOR, Loren
Ed
November 2018

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The 3rd World Disability & Rehabilitation Conference 2018 was held from 12th and 13th November 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. People with disabilities and researchers, practitioners, policy makers, industry experts, university faculty and organizations along with advocates and volunteers working with people with disabilities participated and presented their original and unpublished results of conceptual, constructive, empirical, experimental, experiential or theoretical work through abstract and poster presentation. Total 33 participants presented their abstract and poster throughout this conference. The theme of WDRC 2018 was “Global advocacy and rights of people with disabilities”

Shaping health systems to include people with disabilities. K4D emerging issues report

DEAN, Laura
et al
November 2018

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People with disabilities are at a heightened risk of communicable and non-communicable diseases and these diseases can cause debility and disability. Health needs of these people often extend beyond requiring continual longterm medical support to addressing broader social inequities. Key areas that are likely to be critical in re-orientating health systems from a biomedical approach towards inclusive health systems that are more responsive to the needs of people with debility and disability in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) are offered in this report and cover the following:

 

  • 1. Nothing about us without us: prioritising person-centred health systems
  • 2. Responding to issues of access in mainstreaming disability within health systems
  • 3. Ensuring the provision of specialised services
  • 4. Community based rehabilitation 
  • 5. Improving the collection and use of disability related data against modified legal and policy frameworks
  • 6. Partnerships are paramount
  • 7. Financing and social protection 

Case studies are provided from Sudan, India, Liberia, Uganda and Nigeria

Learning From Experience: Guidelines for locally sourced and cost-effective strategies for hygiene at home for people with high support needs.

World Vision/CBM Australia
May 2018

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This learning resource is the result of a partnership between World Vision Australia and CBM Australia that aims to improve inclusion of people with disabilities in World Vision’s Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH) initiatives, including in Sri Lanka. The guidelines are based on experiences and observations from World Vision’s implementation of the Rural Integrated WASH 3 (RIWASH 3) project in Jaffna District, Northern Province, funded by the Australian Government’s Civil Society WASH Fund 2. The four year project commenced in 2014. It aimed to improve the ability of WASH actors to sustain services, increase adoption of improved hygiene practices, and increase equitable use of water and sanitation facilities of target communities within 11 Grama Niladari Divisions (GNDs) in Jaffna District.

To support disability inclusion within the project, World Vision partnered with CBM Australia. CBM Australia has focused on building capacities of partners for disability
inclusion, fostering connections with local Disabled People’s Organisations, and providing technical guidance on disability inclusion within planned activities. World Vision also partnered with the Northern Province Consortium of the Organizations for the Differently Abled (NPCODA) for disability assessment, technical support and capacity building on inclusion of people with disabilities in the project.

HYGIENE AT HOME FOR PEOPLE WITH HIGH SUPPORT NEEDS
This document is one of two developed in the Jaffna District and describes strategies that used to assist households and individuals in hygiene tasks at home. The strategies were designed to be low cost and were developed using locally available materials and skills in the Jaffna District of Sri Lanka.

NOTE: The development of this learning resource was funded by the Australian Government's Civil Society WASH Fund 2.

Disability and vocational rehabilitation in rural settings

HARLEY, Debra
et al
2018

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A graduate student textbook offered in 39 chapters, each with different authors and subjects. Abstracts, test questions and citations are freely available on-line. Full text is charged for. The book surveys rehabilitation and vocational programs aiding persons with disabilities in remote and developing areas in the U.S. and abroad. Contributors discuss longstanding challenges to these communities, most notably economic and environmental obstacles and ongoing barriers to service delivery, as well as their resilience and strengths. Considerations are largely of the US but there is a chapter on each of Asia and Pacific region, Australasia, Canada, Mexico, India, Turkey, Colombia and the UK. 

 

Household expenditure on leprosy outpatient services in the Indian health system: A comparative study.

TIWARI, Ajun
et al
January 2018

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The primary objective of this study is to estimate the expenditure in primary (outpatient) care incurred by leprosy patients in two different health system settings in India. The secondary objective is to compare the effect of the health systems on consumer behaviour and practices. 

The study followed a cross-sectional design, where a cohort from the Union Territory of DNH (an administrative division ruled directly by the federal government) was compared with a cohort from Umbergaon block of Valsad district, Gujarat, India. A block is the smallest administrative unit under a district. The cohorts were leprosy cases detected between April 2015 and March, 2016. A sample of 120 participants from each group was selected randomly. In the financial year of 2015–16, DNH reported 425 and Umbergaon reported 287 cases. 

A household survey was conducted between June and October, 2016 by means of a structured questionnaire collecting data on patient demographics, HH socioeconomic status, accessibility of health services, treatment seeking history and OPD expenditure. Respondents were asked to report on the last three OPD visits, either in a public or private facility, in the last 6 months. 

The costs were categorized as direct and indirect expenditure. The direct part included the expenditure on consultation, investigations and medicines & supplies. The indirect part constituted expenditure on transport, food, and days lost during illness of the patient and attendant

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, January 4, 2018

https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0006181

Learning from experience: Guidelines for locally sourced and cost-effective strategies to modify existing household toilets and water access

WORLD VISION
CBM Australia
2018

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This learning resource is the result of a partnership between World Vision Australia and CBM Australia that aims to improve inclusion of people with disabilities in World Vision’s Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH) initiatives, including in Sri Lanka. The guidelines are based on experiences and observations from World Vision’s implementation of the Rural Integrated WASH 3 (RIWASH 3) project in Jaffna District, Northern Province, funded by the Australian Government’s Civil Society WASH Fund 2. The four year project commenced in 2014. It aimed to improve the ability of WASH actors to sustain services, increase adoption of improved hygiene practices, and increase equitable use of water and sanitation facilities of target communities within 11 Grama Niladari Divisions (GNDs) in Jaffna District.

To support disability inclusion within the project, World Vision partnered with CBM Australia. CBM Australia has focused on building capacities of partners for disability
inclusion, fostering connections with local Disabled People’s Organisations, and providing technical guidance on disability inclusion within planned activities. World Vision also partnered with the Northern Province Consortium of the Organizations for the Differently Abled (NPCODA) for disability assessment, technical support and capacity building on inclusion of people with disabilities in the project.

HOME MODIFICATIONS FOR WASH ACCESS
This document is one of two developed in the Jaffna District and describes the strategies which were used to assist people with disabilities to access toilet and water facilities at their own home. The strategies were designed to be low cost and were developed using locally available materials and skills in the Jaffna District of Sri Lanka. Houses and toilet structures in the region were made of brick and concrete. No new toilets were built and modifications involved only minor work to existing household structures, water points and toilets.

NOTE:
The development of this learning resource was funded by the Australian Government's Civil Society WASH Fund 2.

Strengthening environmental sustainability and inclusion in health and other development programs. Practical guidance for environmental sustainability, accessibility, gender, safeguarding and disaster risk reduction

CBM
2018

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The purpose of this booklet is to promote discussion and innovation for strengthening environmental sustainability and inclusion in health and other development activities. The case studies and checklists are designed to foster creative thinking and the ongoing gathering of evidence related to these topics. The booklet will be useful to anyone seeking high quality outcomes from health and other development programs. The information was first compiled for CBM’s engagement in the General Assembly of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness 2016, however will be useful for advancing sustainable development with inclusion in any context.

The case sutdies are: Environmental Sustainability in Eye Health, Caritas Takeo Eye Hospital (CTEH), Cambodia; and  Strengthening Accessibility and Inclusion in Eye Health. UMC Kissy Eye Hospital, Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa

Global AgeWatch Insights. The right to health for older people, the right to be counted

ALBONE, Rachel
et al
2018

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This report considers the progress being made to achieve older people's right to health amid the global drive towards universal health coverage. It explores how older people are currently accessing health services and what changes need to be made to improve on this. It considers the role of data in driving and informing changes to health systems and the services they deliver. Data must be collected with and about older people to ensure adequate evidence for service design and delivery that is targeted and appropriate. This report explores the adequacy of current data systems and collection mechanisms and how, alongside health systems, they must be adapted in an ageing world. 

 

This report is supported by 12 country profiles (for Argentina, Colombia, El Salvador, Kenya, Lebanon, Moldova, Myanmar, Pakistan, Serbia, Tanzania, Vietnam and Zimbabwe; see Appendix 1). These provide national information on trends in the physical and mental health status of older people, and population-level information on access to UHC. The profiles are supplemented by data mapping, showing the national data available on older people’s health in the 12 profile countries, and revealing the data gaps. The data mapping results are available at www.GlobalAgeWatch.org.

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