Disability and rehabilitation

1st Asia-Pacific Congress on Community-Based Rehabilitation

From 18-20 February the 1st Asia-Pacific Community-Based Rehabilitation Congress was held in Bangkok, Thailand with the theme "Community-Based Inclusive Development". 630 participants attended from 53 countries in the region, including representatives from central and local governments, NGOs, disabled people's organizations, and regional and international organizations. The involvement of people with disabilities was extremely high, both as presenters and participants.

The Congress was inaugurated by the Honourable Social Welfare Minister from the Government of Thailand and was the largest gathering of community-based rehabilitation (CBR) practitioners to date. The Congress provided an important opportunity to present innovative initiatives underway in the region as well as interesting work being done in research on CBR. Links to the opening remarks made during the inauguration of the Congress by the WHO Regional Director for the South-East Asia Regional Office and the statement given by the WHO Country Representative, Thailand during the closing ceremony can be found below. At the end of the Congress participants agreed to a Bangkok Statement on CBR.

A CBR Asia Pacific Network, with a secretariat in Bangkok, was created for the region bringing together diverse stakeholders with a mandate to coordinate exchanges on CBR.

In addition, three pre and post Congress workshops were organized in collaboration between WHO, ILEP, IDDC and many other partners:

  • CBR and mental health (13-14 February), attended by 50 participants from 15 countries
  • CBR and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (15-16 February), attended by 81 participants from 20 countries
  • CBR and leprosy (21-22 February), attended by 86 participants from 20 countries

Presentations from these three workshop are available at: http://www.aifo.it/english/resources/online/books/cbr/cbr_workshops_0209/workshops.htm

The 2nd Asia-Pacific Congress on Community-Based Rehabilitation may be held in the Philippines in 2011. For further information, please visit http://www.cbr-asiapacific.org/ or contact Mr Chapal Khasnabis on khasnabisc@who.int.