CHWs (16) What are your thoughts on the Guideline? (8) Role of CHWs in disability and rehabilitation (2)

4 June, 2019

Thanks for this update.

I wholeheartedly second this suggestion of including CHWs or CBR workers as they are known in many developing countries that prioritised CBR as a strategy for rehabilitation in primary care setting.

This is not a recent development; it was endorsed by WHO as the optimal strategy to reach out to a tenth of the world population, on the heels of the Alma Ata Declaration (Health for All). However, Health ministries in most countries did not adequately address this need owing to the subject being seen as falling under the purview of the departments of Social welfare or Social justice. This, despite the definition of Health getting widened to include prevention and rehabilitation, remained a much neglected area of health . Education of children with disabilities and employment got a boost with UNICEF and ILO supporting work in a CBR matrix but there was no commensurate Development in Health.

The renewed interest by WHO to bring Disability into focus is welcome and timely because CBR today has evolved into Community based Inclusive Development (CBID), thanks to the UNCRPD and the disability movement world wide. We need to now see it as an essential aspect of both primary care and secondary care with countries working towards Universal Health Coverage in the spirit of SDGs.

Leave no one behind !

Best regards,

Sunanda K.Reddy

HIFA profile: Sunanda Kolli Reddy is a Developmental Paediatrician from New Delhi,India, with a special interest in Early Child Care and Development of children with neurodevelopmental problems in underserved communities. She is actively involved in health promotion, community-based research, care provider training for promoting abilities of children with special needs, through the various programmes of Centre for Applied Research and Education on Neurodevelopmental Impairments and Disability-related Health Initiatives (CARENIDHI), which she heads ( Her work in the community settings to widen the disability-in-development model of CBR encompasses the wider determinants of health and human capabilities and issues which impact the lives of the poor. She combines her experience in developmental paediatrics with the core work of CARENIDHI's grassroots convergence programmes in partnership with groups working in the area of Implementation research and policy. She is a member of the HIFA working group on Community Health Workers.

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