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COVID-19, Amplifying Voices: Our Lives, Our Say: Learning from COVID-19 through the experiences of blind and partially sighted persons across the world

ZAYED, Yana
et al
August 2020

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The World Blind Union (WBU) conducted a study to examine the extent to which COVID-19 pandemic has exposed some deep structural inequalities in society. Data gathered from the study is evidencing that persons with disabilities, older persons, and persons from lower socioeconomic status backgrounds are among those hardest hit by the pandemic. While this report puts a spotlight on the voices of blind and partially sighted persons, many of the experiences shared strongly resonate with numerous other studies that are also highlighting how marginalised groups have been affected by this crisis. Through this report, WBU hopes to raise awareness on the specifics of what those challenges have meant in reality for its constituents, as well as shed light on what have been effective resilience strategies for them. The study was made possible with the support of CBM Global

To understand the situation of our constituents, the World Blind Union (WBU) conducted a global survey in collaboration with key stakeholders. In April 2020, the WBU launched an open online survey for seven weeks in Spanish, French and English, seeking information from blind and partially sighted persons on how COVID-19 was impacting their day to day life. 853 people participated in the survey. The respondents expressed in their own words how their lives had been and continue to be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. This report is a compilation of those voices. It depicts the ways in which COVID-19 response measures taken by state and non-state actors have created additional barriers and challenges for blind and partially sighted people. It also includes powerful testimonies on how people have shown resilience in the face of adversity.

 

 

Children with disabilities and COVID-19

UNICEF
July 2020

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This guidance has been produced for UNICEF’s East Asia and the Pacific Regional Office and UNICEF Australia. This document is intended for frontline workers, including UNICEF partners, health personnel, social workers, teachers, help line staff and community volunteers engaged in the COVID-19 response. It is recommended that this document is read in conjunction with the Minimum Care Package, CBM’s Disability Inclusion in COVID-19 Preparedness and Response guidance note, UNICEF’s EAPR Child Protection Emergency Preparedness and Response to COVID-19 and the global Technical Note: Protection of Children during the Coronavirus Pandemic

A systematic review of the cost-effectiveness of emergency interventions for stroke in low- and middle-income countries

BARBOSA, Euridxe
et al
June 2020

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This systematic review surveys the existing evidence surrounding the cost-effectiveness of interventions to address acute stroke in LMIC settings. Five databases were searched for articles related to the cost-effectiveness of emergency care interventions to treat acute stroke in LMICs.

 

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.afjem.2020.05.009

 

African Journal of Emergency Medicine

Available online 11 June 2020
 

Access to SRH services for persons with disabilities: mapping the evidence

LAGAAY, Mary
MONTEATH-van DOK, Adrienne
June 2020

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A blog looking at the body of evidence for persons with disabilities (PWD) outlines that historically PWD have been denied their SRH (sexual and reproductive health) rights, despite having the same sexual needs as people without disabilities. It goes into to comment on the knowledge gaps that still need closing and to introduce an Evidence Gap Map

Disability Inclusive Development - Kenya Situational Analysis

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
June 2020

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This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation for persons with disabilities in Kenya?”. It has been prepared for the Disability Inclusive Development programme (which works on access to education, jobs, healthcare, and reduced stigma and discrimination for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania), to better understand the current context, including COVID-19, and available evidence in Kenya. It will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion in Kenya, especially in relation to stigma, employment, education, health, and humanitarian issues. This SITAN has been briefly updated from the April 2019 SITAN.

Disability Inclusive Development - Nepal Situational Analysis

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
June 2020

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This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation for persons with disabilities in Nepal?”. It has been prepared for the Disability Inclusive Development programme (which works on access to education, jobs, healthcare, and reduced stigma and discrimination for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania), to better understand the current context, including COVID-19, and available evidence in Nepal. It will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion in Nepal, especially in relation to stigma, employment, education, health, and humanitarian issues. This SITAN has been briefly updated from the April 2019 SITAN.

Disability Inclusive Development - Tanzania Situational Analysis

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
June 2020

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This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation for persons with disabilities in Tanzania?”. It has been prepared for the Disability Inclusive Development programme (which works on access to education, jobs, healthcare, and reduced stigma and discrimination for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania), to better understand the current context, including COVID-19, and available evidence in Tanzania. It will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion in Tanzania, especially in relation to stigma, employment, education, health, and humanitarian issues. This SITAN has been briefly updated from the April 2019 SITAN.

Disability Inclusive Development - Bangladesh Situational Analysis

THOMPSON, Stephen
June 2020

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This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh?”. It has been prepared for the Disability Inclusive Development programme (which works on access to education, jobs, healthcare, and reduced stigma and discrimination for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania), to better understand the current context, including COVID-19, and available evidence in Bangladesh. It will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion in Bangladesh, especially in relation to stigma, employment, education, health, and humanitarian issues.

COVID-19 in humanitarian contexts: no excuses to leave persons with disabilities behind! Evidence from HI's operations in humanitarian settings

HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
June 2020

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This collection and review of evidence aims to illustrate how the COVID-19 crisis triggers disproportionate risks and barriers for men, women, boys and girls with disabilities living in humanitarian settings. It highlights recommendations for humanitarian actors, to enhance inclusive action, aligned with existing guidance and learnings on disability inclusion. It is based on evidence, including testimonies, collected by HI programs in 19 countries of intervention. Special efforts were made to reflect the voices of persons with different types of disabilities, genders and ages, residing in different geographical areas and living circumstances, including refugee and internally displaced persons’ settlements and host communities.

 

Evidence has been collected through primary data collection among HI teams and partners, working in countries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in April/May 2020. Data was extracted from assessments conducted by HI and partners in Bangladesh, Egypt, Haïti, Indonesia, Philippines, Jordan, Lebanon, Somaliland and Togo. Testimonies from affected communities, staff and partners were collected in Kenya, Myanmar, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Somaliland, South Sudan, Rwanda, Thailand, Uganda and Yemen.

 

Guidance for including people with disabilities in responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Guidance for development partners

PREGEL, Andrea
LE FANU, Guy
May 2020

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Practical guidance is provided for development partners to develop disability inclusive responses to the COVID-19 pandemic during the emergency phase of the COVID19 pandemic. In the immediate- and long-term response to the pandemic, it is vital that all development partners take steps to strengthen health systems that are disability-inclusive.

 

Topics include: intersectionality; assessing gaps and needs; engaging people with disabilities and DPO's; accessible and inclusive communications; healthcare and essential services; livelihoods and social protection; education; independent living and housing; and evidence generation.

Provisional guidance on the recovery and rehabilitation for patients following the pandemic

WALDMANN, Carl
MEYER, Joel
SLACK, Andy
May 2020

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There has been much work related to the evolution of recovery pathways following critical illness. COVID-19 presents a real opportunity to ensure full implementation of existing hospital and community based rehabilitation services for people recovering from critical illness, and to identify areas requiring further development in the post-COVID-19 era. The Life After Critical Illness (LACI) work stream of the Faculty (of Intensive Care Medicine, UK) was halfway to being delivered when the pandemic struck. This position statement and provisional guidance has been produced to support the pandemic and provide a national framework for future Critical Illness Recovery Services.

Death sentence to civilians: The long-term impact of explosive weapons in populated areas in Yemen

BOTTOMLEY, Alison
SALAVERT, Lise
et al
May 2020

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In five years of war, Yemen has experienced every manner of explosive weapons—aerial bombs and missiles, artillery, mortars, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and much more. The explosions destroy bridges, ports, roads, hospitals, water systems, and generate long lasting civilian harm. When explosive weapons strike roads and bridges, they greatly increase the time it takes to re-supply cities. Such damage cuts deeply into food and water access, and has negative effects on population health.

The report highlights six case studies, showing the extent and impact of such bombings. One case study looks at the long-term impact on specific populations including: internally displaced persons; persons with disabilities; women and children.

Persons with disabilities must not bear the brunt of COVID-19 aftermath: Lessons from Ebola in Liberia (SDDirect COVID-19 pandemic blog series)

CAREW, Mark
May 2020

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The importance of ensuring persons with disabilities are not excluded as part of COVID-19 responses is explored.
Lessons learnt from the 2014-2017 Ebola outbreak in Liberia are discussed highlighting access to information, access to healthcare and the social impact. Research in Liberia combined surveys and interviews with people from households with a disabled person as well as those without, and included responses from 560 persons living in areas that had ‘many’ or ‘few’ cases of Ebola.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Evidence Collection

EVIDENCE AID
2020

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The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic is leading to a rapidly expanding and evolving literature. Evidence Aid is preparing summaries of relevant research, which are available below in English with links to translations in other languages. 

 

  • Clinical characterization and management
  • Epidemiology
  • Ethical considerations
  • Health systems and services
  • Infection prevention and control, including health care workers’ protection
  • Public health interventions
  • Research & Development: Therapeutics and Vaccines
  • Social science in the response

How to Cope With Being Short Of Breath

April 2020

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People with lung problems often feel short of breath. Many daily tasks can make you breathless, such as walking, getting dressed or doing jobs around the house. Being breathless can make you panic or feel frightened. When you learn how to control your breathing these feelings will not trouble you as much and you will be able to do more. When you are breathless, do not panic. Your breathing will settle.
 

Interim Guidance: Scaling-up COVID-19 outbreak readiness and response operations in humanitarian situations. Including camps and camp-like settings Version 1.1

IFRC
IOM
UNHCR
WHO
April 2020

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It is of extreme importance from a protection, human-rights and public health perspectives, that people affected by humanitarian crises are included in all COVID-19 outbreak readiness and response strategies, plan and operations. There is a strong public health rationale to extend all measures to everyone, regardless of status and ensuring inclusiveness. This Interim Guidance addresses specific needs and considerations required in humanitarian situations, including camps and camp-like settings and the surrounding host communities, in scaling-up readiness and response operations for the COVID-19 outbreak through effective multi-sectoral partnership

“Disability Is Not Weakness” Discrimination and barriers facing women and girls with disabilities in Afghanistan

GOSSMAN, Patricia
April 2020

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Everyday barriers that Afghan women and girls with disabilities face are described.  Decades of conflict have decimated government institutions and development efforts have failed to reach many communities most in need. Obtaining access to health care, education, and employment, along with other basic rights, is particularly difficult for Afghan women and girls with disabilities, who face both gender discrimination and stigma and barriers associated with their disability.

 

This report is based primarily on research by Human Rights Watch researchers from April 2018 through January 2020 in Kabul, Mazar-e Sharif, and Herat, Afghanistan. 23 interviews with women with disabilities and 3 interviews with family members of women and girls with disabilities were conducted. 14 healthcare and education professionals were interviewed, including representatives from the United Nations and international and local nongovernmental organizations providing services to persons with disabilities in Afghanistan

Women's Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) Programme for Results: independent verification, evidence, and learning

Monteath-van Dok, Adrienne
Lagaay, Mary
April 2020

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As part of the Department for International Development’s (DFID’s) Women’s Integrated Sexual Reproductive Health (WISH) programme, an evidence gap map (EGM) has been developed to map interventions on ‘what works’ to enable access to sexual reproductive health (SRH) services for persons with disabilities in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). EGMs are a user-friendly presentation of the available, relevant evidence for a particular sector, which is systematically gathered and mapped onto a framework, visually highlighting the gaps or concentration of evidence. This EGM aims to support WISH programming by consolidating evidence and identifying tools/approaches which could be brought into the programme. In addition, it aims to identify where evidence is weak and how the WISH programme can contribute to evidence generation.

This report provides a written accompaniment to the Evidence Gap Map (EGM) to explain the methodology, findings on the availability of evidence, and key recommendations. When scoping for this EGM, it was recognised early on that some of the best practices and interventions on ‘what works’ to support persons with disabilities access SRH services in LMICs are not always empirically tested. Therefore, a decision was made to develop an EGM which includes both peer-reviewed and grey literature. This approach diverges from the norm, as EGMs typically only include peer-reviewed literature.

The impacts of COVID-19 on people with disabilities: a rapid review. Disability Inclusion Helpdesk Query No: 35

MEANIE-DAVIS, Jessie
LEE, Harri
CORBY, Nick
April 2020

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There is currently very limited data and evidence on the impacts of COVID-19 on people with disabilities and pre-existing health conditions, with no disability-disaggregated data on mortality rates available in the public sphere. However, reports from the media, disability advocates and disabled peoples’ organisations (DPOs) point to several emerging impacts, including primary and secondary impacts including on health, education, food security and livelihoods.  Most of the available data is from high income countries (HICs) though reports from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are likely to emerge. Evidence was gathered by a rapid desk based review. Gaps are identified. 

 

The section concerned with lessons drawn from similar epidemics draws heavily on lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014-2016, and touches on lessons from the Zika outbreak in 2015-2016 and the SARS pandemic in the early 2000s.10 It also touches briefly on SARS, MERS and H1N1 (swine flu). 

 

Primary and secondary impacts of COVID-19 on people with disabilities are reviewed.


People with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 not only because it can exacerbate underlying medical conditions, but because of attitudinal, environmental and institutional barriers to their participation in and benefit from the pandemic response. For example, inaccessible public health messaging and healthcare facilities, and stigma and discrimination.

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