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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.

COVID-19 blog series

SDDirect
April 2020

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The principal aim of this COVID-19 Blog series is to inspire and support the international community to identify, prioritise and respond to the needs of the most vulnerable individuals and nations as part of both the immediate humanitarian response and long-term recovery planning

Blogs include:

  • Recommendations for a disability-inclusive response to COVID-19 (Print and Audio)
  • Why people with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 (Print and Audio)

COVID-19 response: Considerations for children and adults with disabilities

UNICEF
April 2020

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A guidance note on considerations for children and adults with disabilities in the COVID-19 response. The guidance describes what we need to know about the situation of persons with disabilities in COVID-19 response, and what we need to do in five key points: Limit human to human transmission and protect individuals from exposure; minimise morbidity and mortality; prevent and address the secondary impact of the outbreak- minimise the human consequences of the outbreak; enhance risk reduction and in-country preparedness including coordination; inclusion in UNICEF operations

Coronavirus (COVID-19) translated resources

WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES AUSTRALIA (WDDA)
March 2020

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WWDA has produced an Easy English ‘What is Coronavirus‘ document for women or girls with a disabiliity to explain some key facts about COVID-19 in a simple way.

The document is available in 11 different languages (each as a PDF or Accessible Word DOC)

Health cluster

World Health Organization
2020

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Humanitarian and development partners have established a joint Incident Management Team (IMT) to support COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts in the Pacific. This coordination mechanism has successfully leveraged partners’ capacities and resources, and continues to coordinate their actions to ensure that effective support is provided to national authorities and the affected population.

Early rehabilitation in conflicts and disasters

LATHIA, Charmi
SKELTON, Peter
CLIFT, Zoe
Eds
January 2020

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When emergencies strike, there is a huge surge in the need for Early Rehabilitation. Early Rehabilitation for patients with traumatic injuries in conflicts and disasters is now recognised as being an integral part of a patient’s recovery. However, the majority of rehabilitation professionals in countries that experience such emergencies do not have all the skills needed to treat all of the injuries. HI, in collaboration with leading organisations (ICRC, MSF-France, CBM, Livability & the WHO), has created this educational resource package to fill this gap

Each chapter of this handbook has been written by experts in their field. It includes pictures and evidence based treatment protocols to help rehabilitation professionals around the world to delivery high quality early rehabilitation intervention. Chapters included are:

  • Key Challenges in Delivering Early Rehabilitation in Conflicts and Disasters
  • Early Rehabilitation Patient Assessment and Treatment - the Basics
  • Early Rehabilitation of Fractures 
  • Early Rehabilitation of Peripheral Nerve Injuries
  • Early Rehabilitation of Amputees
  • Early Rehabilitation of Acquired Brain Injuries
  • Early Rehabilitation of Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Early Rehabilitation of Burns

Videos accompany each of the chapters. The handbook contents are directly linked to modules taught on disasterready.org where there are additional accompanying resources designed to be used in conflict and disasters settings

WBU [World Blind Union] Call to Action -19 Actions for an inclusive Covid-19 response

MUTUKU, Terry
2020

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This Call for Action is produced by World Blind Union, the global organisation representing the estimated 253 million persons who are blind and partially sighted worldwide. The actions reflect the urgent needs of WBUs constituency following the spread of COVID-19. WBU recognises the diversity of needs among persons with disabilities, especially in times of crises, and urge governments and relevant stakeholders to adopt inclusive approaches to "leave no-one behind".

Inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action. Case studies collection 2019. 39 examples of field practices, and learnings from 20 countries, for all phases of humanitarian response

PALMER, Tom
et al
December 2019

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Published at the same time as the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, this report aims to support their uptake and promote learning by example. This report presents 39 short case studies on inclusive practices for persons with disabilities in humanitarian action and disaster risk reduction (DRR). It is designed for humanitarian stakeholders with limited experience of working with and for persons with disabilities, as well as for organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) planning to engage in humanitarian action and DRR. The report draws lessons from field practices, but does not provide technical guidance. The IASC Guidelines are the reference document to seek in-depth theoretical and technical information

 

The case studies focus on:

  • Inclusive disaster risk reduction and preparedness
  • Collecting and using disability disaggregated data for assessments and programming.
  • Participation of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations in humanitarian response and recovery
  • Removing barriers to access humanitarian assistance and protection.
  • Influencing coordination mechanisms and resource mobilization to be inclusive

 

The evidence presented in this report was identified in 2017-2018 through a desk review of publicly available reports and internal documents on projects implemented by CBM, HI and IDA members, as well as their partners and affiliate members. Field visits to Lebanon, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, and the Philippines conducted in 2018 also informed the case-study collection and documentation

Persons with disabilities in a just transition to a low-carbon economy

HASAN, Maria
November 2019

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Implementing a just transition to a low-carbon economy that aims to leave no one behind will require a context-specific and locally determined mix of legal standards, social protection, skills development and attitudinal transformation that create an enabling environment for green jobs to perpetuate and decent work opportunities for persons with disabilities to proliferate. If done right, a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all can contribute to the goals of achieving social justice, decent work, social inclusion and the eradication of poverty. At this unique time that climate action is accelerating and the transition to green economies has started to take form, a just transition - that is inherently disability-inclusive - represents a unique opportunity to shape a future that works for all.

 

Topics discussed include: Persons with disabilities in a world of work confronted by climate change; Understanding the future of the world of work; Existing frameworks to guide action; An inclusive transition to a low-carbon economy; Key recommendations

IASC Guidelines, Inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action

INTER-AGENCY STANDING COMMITTEE (IASC)
November 2019

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The guidelines set out essential actions that humanitarian actors must take in order to effectively identify and respond to the needs and rights of persons with disabilities who are most at risk of being left behind in humanitarian settings.

The recommended actions in each chapter place persons with disabilities at the centre of humanitarian action, both as actors and as members of affected populations. They are specific to persons with disabilities and to the context of humanitarian action and build on existing and more general standards and guidelines.

These are the first humanitarian guidelines to be developed with and by persons with disabilities and their representative organizations in association with traditional humanitarian stakeholders. Based on the outcomes of a comprehensive global and regional multi-stakeholder consultation process, they are designed to promote the implementation of quality humanitarian programmes in all contexts and across all regions, and to establish and increase both the inclusion of persons with disabilities and their meaningful participation in all decisions that concern them.

Unimproved water sources and open defecation are associated with active trachoma in children in internally displaced persons camps in the Darfur States of Sudan

MACLEOD, C K
October 2019

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To estimate the proportion of children with trachomatous inflammation—follicular (TF) and adults with trachomatous trichiasis (TT) in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in the Darfur States of Sudan and to evaluate associated risk factors. 

A random-effects hierarchical model was used to evaluate factors associated with TF and TT. Thirty-six IDP camps were represented in the survey data in which 1926 children aged 1–9 years were examined, of whom 38 (8%) had TF. Poor sanitation, younger age and living in a household that purchased water from a vendor were associated with TF in children aged 1–9 years.

 

Transactions of The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2019 Oct 11;113(10):599-609

DOI:10.1093/trstmh/trz042

Global humanitarian assistance report 2019

URQUHART, Angus
September 2019

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This report aims to reflect, respond to and inform efforts to improve the delivery of humanitarian assistance. This year's focus is on recurrent and protracted crises, to better understand how assistance is provided over the multiple years of a crisis. In the context of ever-more-complex and enduring crises and the increasing demand on limited resources, there is a pressing need to address the underlying causes of crises. The GHA Report therefore looks beyond humanitarian financing to examine other resource flows to countries in crisis, including developmental official development assistance (ODA less humanitarian assistance) and foreign direct investment, and the role they can and should play alongside humanitarian assistance to address crisis. 

Chapters of the report include: people, crisis and assistance; internation humanitarian assistance; wider crisis financing; effectiveness, efficiency and quality; and methodology and definitions. [Each chapter can be downloaded separately]

 

Associated datasets are also freely available

  • International humanitarian assistance provided by government donors, 2000–2018
  • International humanitarian assistance by recipient countries, 2000-2017

Cluster Munition Monitor 2019

INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO BAN LANDMINES – CLUSTER MUNITION COALITION (ICBL-CMC)
August 2019

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Cluster Munition Monitor covers cluster munition ban policy, use, production, transfers, and stockpiling in every country in the world, and also contains information on cluster munition contamination and clearance activities, as well as casualties and victim assistance. Its principal frame of reference is the Convention on Cluster Munitions, although other relevant international law is reviewed, including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The report focuses on calendar year 2018, with information included into August 2019 where possible. Sections are: cluster munition ban policy; contamination and clearance; casualties; victim assistance; and status of the convention

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