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Access to assistive products in Kurigram and Narsingdi, Bangladesh. Policy brief 2.

et al
August 2018

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This ‘policy brief’ outlines findings on Assistive technology and Products (AP) needs, unmet needs and access patterns arising the Rapid Assessment of Disability (RAD) study conducted in 2016 and 2017, in partnership between the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) and Humanity & Inclusion (HI) Bangladesh, with technical oversight from the Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne, Australia. The study was part of the HI project: Towards Global Health: Strengthening the Rehabilitation Sector through Civil Society funded by the European Union. Findings from the 4254 adults surveyed in the two districts are reported here.


The purpose of this component of the RAD study was to learn about the usage of AP, characteristics of AP users, barriers to use of AP, unmet and met needs of AP, and to highlight major policy implications for AP service provision, in two target areas of Kurigram and Narsingdi. The survey includes an adapted version of Washington Group (WG) ‘short set’ of Disability Questions. A modified version of the WHO’s draft Assistive Technology Assessment Tool (needs module) – or the ‘ATA-needs’, was also implemented. Findings from this study also helped modify and improve the draft ATA-needs tool

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

Disability and HIV : a systematic review and a meta-analysis of the risk of HIV infection among adults with disabilities in Sub-Saharan Africa

July 2014

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"More than one billion people worldwide are estimated to be living with a disability. A significant proportion of them lives in Sub-Saharan Africa where they are reported to be at increased risk of HIV. However, quantitative evidence on this remains scarce. A systematic review and a meta-analysis of the risk of HIV infection among people with disabilities living in Sub-Saharan Africa were undertaken. We searched all published or unpublished studies and national surveys reporting HIV prevalence among adults with disabilities living in Sub-Saharan Africa between 2000 and 2013. The risk ratio (RR) of HIV infection in people with disabilities versus people without disabilities was estimated through a random-effects meta-analysis. Of the 12,252 references screened, 13 studies were selected. HIV prevalence varied widely across studies from 1.1% to 29%. Pooled RRs of HIV infection in people with disabilities compared to the general population were 1.31 (1.02–1.69) overall; 1.16 (0.71–1.87) among people with mental illness or intellectual disabilities and 1.07 (0.58–1.95) among people with hearing disabilities. This meta-analysis provides evidence that people with disabilities do not have a lower risk of HIV when compared to the general population, and that women with disabilities are especially affected. A clear increasing gradient in the risk of HIV according to gender and disability status was also observed. The important heterogeneity across studies and their varying quality warrant a closer look at the intersection between disability and HIV. Additional studies with more systematic approaches and with higher-quality methodologies are required to further address this knowledge gap"


AIDS Care : Psychological and Socio-medical Aspects of HIV/AIDS, Volume 26, Issue 12

DOI: 10.1080/09540121.2014.936820


The state of the world's children 2014 in numbers : every child counts

January 2014

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This report highlights the critical role data and monitoring play in realising children’s rights. It presents an updated compendium of statistics and data (which has been produced thirty years after the initial report) relating to the position of children throughout the world but particularly within the Global South. The data indicators cover a vast range: from demography, health and education, to rate of progression, child mortality, and disparities by household wealth. It emphasises that credible data, disseminated effectively and used correctly, make change possible to target interventions that help right the wrong of exclusion by identifying needs, supporting advocacy, gauging progress and holding duty bearers to account

World Health Statistics 2012


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"World Health Statistics 2012 contains WHO’s annual compilation of health-related data for its 194 Member States, and includes a summary of the progress made towards achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and associated targets. This year, it also includes highlight summaries on the topics of noncommunicable diseases, universal health coverage and civil registration coverage"
Note: The summary brochure, full report, report in English by section, the indicator compendium and printed copy order forms are available from the link above

Evaluative review of the development account project : improvement of disability measurement and statistics in support of the Biwako millennium framework and regional census programme

BUGNION, Christian
August 2010

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“The current evaluation is meant to evaluate the UN Development Account Project, “Improvement of Disability Measurement and Statistics in Support of the Biwako Millennium Framework (BMF) and Regional Census Programme” implemented by ESCAP in cooperation with internal and external partners, including the Washington Group on Disability Statistics, WHO and selected national statistical offices and experts. The project started in August 2007 and is coming to an end in December 2010, after having received a one‐year extension”

Contribution of chronic diseases to disability in elderly people in countries with low and middle incomes : a 10/66 dementia research group population-based survey

SOUSA, Renata M
et al
November 2009

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This article assesses "the contribution of physical, mental, and cognitive chronic diseases to disability, and the extent to which sociodemographic and health characteristics account for geographical variation in disability." Using cross sectional surveys of people aged over 65 in seven low and middle income countries, the findings highlight specific associations of chronic diseases to disability and overall that dementia, not blindness, is overwhelmingly the most important independent contributor to disability for elderly people in low and middle income countries. This resource is useful to people interested in the contribution of chronic diseases to disability in elderly people
The Lancet, Vol 374, Issue 97041
To access this article, users need to register (free) online

The relation between multiple pains and mental disorders : results from the world mental health surveys

et al
March 2008

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Using information from 17 population surveys. this article analyses whether there are differences between the prevalence of mood, anxiety and alcohol use disorders among persons with multiple pain conditions compared with those with single pain problems. The results suggest that the existence of multiple pain conditions can be favourably and comparably associated with mood and anxiety disorders in diverse cultures. This article would be of interest to people interested in the relation among multiple pains and mental disorders
PAIN, Vol 135, Issue 1

Monitoring child disability in developing countries : results from the multiple indicator cluster surveys


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Using the ten question screen for children with disability in the multiple indicator cluster survey (MICS) in 20 countries, this report aims "to raise awareness and thereby both prevent new cases of child disability when that is possible and ensure protection and inclusion for children with disabilities. The findings presented in this publication provide decision-makers with basic information from a number of diverse countries that can be used to determine priorities related to child disability, including the prevention of childhood disabilities, the early detection of disorders leading to disability, and the timely provision of medical-rehabilitation services and comprehensive support to families with children with disabilities"

Disability prevalence : challenges for measurement

TRANI, Jean-Francois
April 2007

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This article examines the methodology of measuring the prevalence rate of disability through a population based survey using the Capabilities Framework. It presents an example of the methodology used in the National Disability Survey in Afghanistan (NDSA) and discusses the general limitations and political implications involved. This paper is interesting for academics, practitioners and policy makers who are interested in disability prevalence
Working Paper Series No 4

The state of the humanitarian system

et al
July 2004

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"This report presents a system-level mapping and analysis of the performance of international humanitarian assistance. The pilot report on the State of the Humanitarian System (SOHS) was published in 2010 and focused on the years 2007 and 2008. This report includes descriptive statistics from the following two years, 2009 and 2010, and reviews performance assessments from 2009 to the end of 2011, comparing findings from the two periods. This report covers recent developments with those actors as well, and includes the perceptions and perspectives of some humanitarian aid recipients, through field based surveys in four countries"

Measuring the difference : guide to planning and evaluating health information outreach

BURROUGHS, Catherine M
WOOD, Fred B
September 2000

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This guide presents a programmatic and goal-orientated approach to outreach activities. The premise of this approach is that evaluation is an integral part of programme development: planning and evaluating an outreach initiative is one and the same process, and asking the right questions at the beginning is essential for getting useful results at the end. The guide is practical in purpose, with checklists, worksheets and examples, but also heavily theory-based, offering a range of methodological possibilities and strategies. The guide should be useful to community organisations, libraries, clinics or other groups seeking to affect the capacity of individuals or communities to use health information resources and to address barriers to access, through simple or complex outreach projects. It is not specifically written for developing-country contexts

Washington group on disability statistics


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"The Washington Group on Disability Statistics (WG) is a United Nations (UN) City Group commissioned to improve the quality and international comparability of disability measurement in Censuses and surveys." This website provides the WG's background, objectives, meetings, documents, and short set of questions. This website is useful to anyone interested in disability and statistics


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