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India’s disability estimates: Limitations and way forward

RAKHI, Dandona
et al
September 2019

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With India preparing for the next decennial Census in 2021, disability estimates and data collection methodology between the Census 2011 and the most recent population-level survey for India and its states were compared, to highlight the issues to be addressed to improve robustness of the disability estimates in the upcoming Census.


Data from the Census 2011 and from two complementary nationally representative household surveys that covered all Indian states with the same methodology and survey instruments–the District-Level Household Survey-4 (DLHS-4, 2012–2013) and the Annual Health Surveys (AHS three rounds, 2010–11, 2011–12 and 2012–13) were used. Data from DLHS-4 and AHS 2012–13 round were pooled to generate estimates for the year 2012–13. Data collection methodology between the sources was compared, including the review of definitions of each type of disability. The overall, mental, visual, hearing, speech, and movement disability rate (DR) per 100,000 population were compared between the sources for India and for each state, and the percent difference in the respective rates was calculated

Inter- and intra-household perceived relative inequality among disabled and non-disabled people in Liberia

CAREW, Mark T.
COLE, Ellie
NGAFUAN, Richard
KETT, Maria
July 2019

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Evidence suggests that people with disabilities are the most marginalised and vulnerable group within any population. However, little is known about the extent of inequality between people with and without disabilities in contexts where the majority of persons experience extreme poverty and hardship. This includes in Liberia, where very little is understood about the lives of disabled people in general. This study uses a multidimensional wellbeing framework to understand perceived relative inequality associated with disability by assessing several facets of wellbeing across and within households containing disabled members (N = 485) or households with no disabled members (N = 538) in Liberian communities (Total individuals surveyed, N = 2020). Statistical comparisons (adjusted for age, sex, education and wealth differences and clustered at the household, village and county level) reveal that disabled Liberians are managing similarly to non-disabled Liberians in terms of income and education, but experience many perceived relative inequalities including in life satisfaction, transport access, political participation and social inclusion.


PLoS ONE 14(7)

Livelihood opportunities amongst adults with and without disabilities in Cameroon and India: A case control study

et al
April 2018

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There is limited quantitative evidence on livelihood opportunities amongst adults with disabilities in Low and Middle Income Countries. This study adds to the limited evidence base, contributing data from one African and one Asian setting. A population-based case–control study of adults (18+) with and without disabilities was undertaken in North-West Cameroon and in Telangana State, India. It was found that adults with disabilities were five times less likely to be working compared to age-sex matched controls in both settings. Amongst adults with disabilities, current age, marital status and disability type were key predictors of working. Inclusive programmes are therefore needed to provide adequate opportunities to participate in livelihood prospects for adults with disabilities in Cameroon and India, on an equal basis as others


HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of persons with and without disabilities from the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2011: Differential access to HIV/AIDS information and services

MANNAN, Hasheem
McVEIGH, Joanne
April 2017

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Uganda is among the first to use the Washington Group Short Set of Questions on Disability to identify persons with disabilities in its Demographic and Health Survey. In this paper, we review the HIV Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviour component of the 2011 Ugandan Demographic and Health Survey, analysing a series of questions comparing those with and without disabilities in relation to HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes and practices. We found comparable levels of knowledge on HIV/AIDS for those with and those without disabilities in relation to HIV transmission during delivery (93.89%, 93.26%) and through breastfeeding (89.91%, 90.63%), which may reflect increased attention to reaching the community of persons with disabilities. However, several gaps in the knowledge base of persons with disabilities stood out, including misconceptions of risk of HIV infection through mosquito bites and caring for a relative with HIV in own household (34.39%, 29.86%; p<0.001; 91.53%, 89.00%; p = 0.001, respectively). The issue is not just access to appropriate information but also equitable access to HIV/AIDS services and support. Here we found that persons with multiple disabilities were less likely than individuals without disabilities to return to receive results from their most recent HIV test (0.60[0.41–0.87], p<0.05). HIV testing means little if people do not return for follow-up to know their HIV status and, if necessary, to be connected to available services and supports. Additional findings of note were that persons with disabilities reported having a first sexual encounter at a slightly younger age than peers without disabilities; and persons with disabilities also reported having a sexually transmitted disease (STD) within the last 12 months at significantly higher rates than peers without disabilities (1.38[1.18–1.63], p<0.01), despite reporting comparable knowledge of the need for safer sex practices. This analysis is among the first to use HIV/AIDS-related questions from Demographic Health Surveys to provide information about persons with disabilities in Uganda in comparison to those without disabilities. These findings present a more complex and nuanced understanding of persons with disabilities and HIV/AIDS. If persons with disabilities are becoming sexually active earlier, are more likely to have an STD within the preceding 12 month period and are less likely to receive HIV test results, it is important to understand why. Recommendations are also made for the inclusion of disability measures in Uganda’s AIDS Indicator Survey to provide cyclical and systematic data on disability and HIV/AIDS, including HIV prevalence amongst persons with disabilities.

PLoS ONE 12(4): e0174877

The burden of mental disorders in the eastern Mediterranean region, 1990-2013

et al
January 2017

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The Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) is witnessing an increase in chronic disorders, including mental illness. With ongoing unrest, this is expected to rise. This is the first study to quantify the burden of mental disorders in the EMR. Data was used from the Global Burden of Disease study (GBD) 2013. DALYs (disability-adjusted life years) allow assessment of both premature mortality (years of life lost–YLLs) and nonfatal outcomes (years lived with disability–YLDs). DALYs are computed by adding YLLs and YLDs for each age-sex-country group.


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