10 FACTS ON DISABILITY. PREPARE BY Ramesh B aral Ph.D S choolar Tribhuwan University Kathmandu Nepal. Source. For comment: [email protected] 1. Over a billion people live with some form of disability.
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This corresponds to about 15% of the world's population. Between 110-190 million people have very significant difficulties in functioning. Rates of disability are increasing, due to population ageing and the global increase in chronic health conditions.
Lower-income countries have a higher prevalence of disability than higher-income countries. Disability is more common among women, older people and children and adults who are poor.
Half of disabled people cannot afford health care, compared to a third of non-disabled people. People with disabilities are more than twice as likely to find health-care providers' skills inadequate. Disabled people are four times more likely to report being treated badly and nearly three times more likely to be denied health care.
Education completion gaps are found across all age groups in all settings, with the pattern more pronounced in poorer countries. For example, the difference between the percentage of disabled children and the percentage of non-disabled children attending primary school ranges from 10% in India to 60% in Indonesia.
Global data show that employment rates are lower for disabled men (53%) and disabled women (20%) than for non-disabled men (65%) and non-disabled women (30%). In OECD countries, the employment rate of people with disabilities (44%) was slightly over half that for people without disabilities (75%).
People with disabilities have worse living conditions–including insufficient food, poor housing, lack of access to safe water and sanitation–than non-disabled people. Because of extra costs such as medical care, assistive devices or personal support, people with disabilities are generally poorer than non-disabled people with similar income.
In many countries rehabilitation services are inadequate. Data from four Southern African countries found that only 26–55% of people received the medical rehabilitation they needed, while only 17–37% received the assistive devices they needed (e.g. wheelchairs, prostheses, hearing aids).
Even in high-income countries, between 20% and 40% of people with disabilities do not generally have their needs met for assistance with everyday activities. In the United States of America, 70% of adults rely on family and friends for assistance with daily activities.
Governments can:promote access to mainstream services;invest in specific programmes for people with disabilities;adopt a national strategy and plan of action;improve staff education, training and recruitment;provide adequate funding;increase public awareness and understanding on disability;strengthen research and data collection; andensure the involvement of people with disabilities in implementing policies and programmes.
So far, nearly 150 countries and regional integration organizations have signed the Convention, and 100 have ratified it. The WHO/World Bank report provides the best available scientific evidence to improve the health and well-being of people with disabilities in line with the CRPD.