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The missing billion - Access to health services for 1 billion people with disabilities

KUPER, Hannah
HEYDT, Phyllis
July 2019

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One billion people around the world live with disabilities. This report makes the case that they are being “left behind” in the global community’s work on health. This lack of access not only violates the rights of people with disabilities under international law, but UHC (Universal Health Care) and SDG 3 cannot be attained without better health services for the one billion people with disabilities. 

Health and healthcare are critical issues for people with disabilities. People with disabilities often need specialized medical care related to the underlying health condition or impairment (e.g., physiotherapy, hearing aids). They also need general healthcare services like anyone else (e.g., vaccinations, antenatal care). On average, those with disabilities are more vulnerable to poor health, because of their higher levels of poverty and exclusion, and through secondary conditions and co-morbidities. People with disabilities therefore may require higher levels of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment services. However, health services are often lower quality, not affordable, and inaccessible for people with disabilities. In many situations these barriers are even more significant for women with disabilities, compared to men with disabilities.

Strengthening mental health system governance in six low- and middle-income countries in Africa and South Asia: challenges, needs and potential strategies

PETERSEN, Inge
et al
February 2017

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The aim of this study was to identify key governance issues that need to be addressed to facilitate the integration of mental health services into general health care in the six participating "Emerald" countries (Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda).  The study adopted a descriptive qualitative approach, using framework analysis. Purposive sampling was used to recruit a range of key informants, to ensure views were elicited on all the governance issues within the expanded framework. Key informants across the six countries included policy makers at the national level in the Department/Ministry of Health; provincial coordinators and planners in primary health care and mental health; and district-level managers of primary and mental health care services. A total of 141 key informants were interviewed across the six countries. Data were transcribed (and where necessary, translated into English) and analysed thematically using framework analysis, first at the country level, then synthesised at a cross-country level.

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