WHO news release: Health inequities lead to early death in many persons with disabilities

4 December, 2022

Full text here: https://www.who.int/news/item/02-12-2022-health-inequities-lead-to-early...

Note that 'health information in formats that cannot be understood' is identified as one of three 'unjust and unfair factors within health systems'. Extract and a comment from me below.


Health inequities lead to early death in many persons with disabilities

2 December 2022 News release Geneva

A new report by the World Health Organization shows evidence of a higher risk of premature death and illness among many persons with disabilities compared to others in the society.

The Global report on health equity for persons with disabilities published today shows that because of the systemic and persistent health inequities, many persons with disabilities face the risk of dying much earlier—even up to 20 years earlier—than persons without disabilities.

They have an increased risk of developing chronic conditions, with up to double the risk of asthma, depression, diabetes, obesity, oral diseases, and stroke. Many of the differences in health outcomes cannot be explained by the underlying health condition or impairment, but by avoidable, unfair and unjust factors.

Launched ahead of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the report shows the number of people with significant disabilities worldwide has risen to 1.3 billion (or 1 in 6 people). This number reinforces the importance of achieving full and effective participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society and embedding the principles of inclusion, accessibility and non-discrimination in the health sector.

The report stresses the need for urgent action to address the vast inequities in health caused by unjust and unfair factors within health systems...

- negative attitudes of healthcare providers,

- health information in formats that cannot be understood, or

- difficulties accessing a health centre due to the physical environment, lack of transport or financial barriers.


COMMENT (NPW): HIFA stands ready to help explore the healthcare information needs of people living with disabilities, as well as the needs of health workers and caregivers. As we have discussed previously on HIFA, all these areas are problematic and yet none of them have been adequately explored. If you have ideas on how to secure financial and/or technical support for a new HIFA project on this priority area, please contact me: neil@hifa.org

Best wishes, Neil

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, Global Coordinator HIFA, www.hifa.org neil@hifa.org

Global Healthcare Information Network: Working in official relations with WHO