Violence and Injury Prevention

WHO Executive Boards adopts draft resolution on disability and rehabilitation

26 MAY 2004 -- The WHO Executive Board, having considered an April 2004 report on disability, including prevention, management and rehabilitation (EB114/4 [pdf 32kb]), approved of a draft resolution which it will place before the 58th World Health Assembly next year. The draft resolution, proposed by the governments of Australia, China, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Ghana, Iceland, Russian Federation and Thailand, draws attention to the 600 million people living with physical and mental disabilities of various types, their health and rehabilitation needs, and the cost of their exclusion from society. The resolution also expresses concern about the rapid increase in the number of persons with disabilities, stressing that 80% of people with disabilities live in low-income countries where poverty further limits their access to rehabilitation services.

The draft resolution calls upon Member States to strengthen implementation of the United Nations Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (UNGA resolution 48/96); promote the rights and dignity of people with disabilities to ensure their full inclusion in society; promote and strengthen community-based rehabilitation programs; and include a disability component in their health policies and programs. The WHO Director-General is requested to intensify collaboration within WHO by including gender-disaggregated statistical analysis and information on disability in all areas of work and provide support to Member States in strengthening national rehabilitation programs and collecting more reliable data on all relevant aspects, especially for children. The resolution also requests the WHO Director-General to produce a world report on disability and rehabilitation based on the best available scientific evidence.

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