Lets look, feel, listen and talk from the shoes of those who can't do !
Access To Healthcare
Being a person with disability since birth or become one at any stage of life is indeed a biggest devastation. At this juncture, even the miraculous science and technology is helpless to find a cure for it. However, mankind has managed to survive with it. In developed countries, these detrimental creatures are living compatibly a “barrier-free” life for there is a much better standard of living from every aspect i.e. accessible infrastructure, access to education and latest healthcare services. On the contrary, the PWDs, living in developing and under-developed countries, are facing a lot more than being physically challenged. Poor or insufficient accessibility to their vital needs of healthcare facilities has literally ruined their lives. Lack of awareness has glittered issues to its best.
The Article 25 and 26 of the UNCRPD (United Nations Convention for the Rights of Personbs with Disabilit) clearly explains that all the PWDs have the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health without discrimination and the state parties must take appropriate measures to ensure access to health services, including rehabilitation. It also highlights the responsibility of the state parties about ensuring accessible assistive technology for PWDs. Conforming to these obligations need legislative measures on national level. However, in many low and middle income countries the provision and access to healthcare cannot be assured and where they are present, they are often placed with restrictions which are making it even more rigorous for the PWDs to advocate for the resources they need.
Situation in Pakistan
In Pakistan, majority of the PWDs have become one after meeting accidents. Like, in Spinal Cord Injuries. The major cause of being SCI patient is however falling from height though. The essential protocols of shifting the victims to the hospitals are either not known or not followed which almost every time results as an “un-intentional” spinal cord injury.
The lack of emergency services is yet another factor that has increased the risks and the numbers too. Many of the DHQs are not up to date enough to receive SCI patients while the rest being expensive enough for the poor’s to afford. The provision of adaptive and assistive equipment is not pledged because they are costly. When the PWDs come up with any other disease, they are charged as high as the non-disabled which most often keep them unconvinced for a medical check-up. The environmental and attitudinal barriers have caged them to their homes. There are very few rehab centers that are serving this deprived sect of human race but they are not in the reach of every PWD.
How would you feel....
If you had one of your beloved ones a person with hearing, mental, visual or physical disability and they had not access to any healthcare facilities available to public?
- 0% I would feel miserable and helpless
- 0% I would try and approach any means i could for the sake of my beloved one's health
This poll is now closed to voting.
Steps Needed to be Taken
- Policies ensuring adequate access to healthcare needs must be addressed across government sectors including housing, transportation, education, recreation and leisure, employment and social welfare.
- Strategies should be made for humanitarian disasters like earthquakes and floods, which can overwhelm the number of disabilities.
- State parties need to adapt incremental approach for the capacity building and recognition of the needs of the healthcare systems for PWDs.
- The PWDs must be engaged in policy making as their experience and knowledge can provide a worth considering insight.
- International stakeholders must be encouraged to invest in financial and technical support, capacity building and training workshops and other organizational developments.
In nut shell, the health of persons with disabilities is as important as any other human being. Just because they are not independent never means they can't be even. The govt and all the concerned authorities must be sensitized to play their role in making public and private sector hospitals accessible for them so that they can no longer be deprived of their very fundamental and basic right to live.